ATM Modernization, Business & GA, Commercial, Military

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By | September 1, 2006

Push To ADS-B

ACSS plans to begin development flight tests of its SafeRoute automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) software in October 2006, using a company King Air and a Convair from the FAA Tech Center in Atlantic City, N.J. Flight tests on launch customer UPS' Boeing 757s and 767s will follow shortly thereafter. ACSS aims by mid-2007 to achieve technical standard order (TSO) and operational approval of the software, hosted in its "surveillance processor," which also contains the TCAS 3000 traffic alert collision avoidance function.

UPS anticipates major benefits from ADS-B at its Louisville, Ky., hub and eventually at other operations centers such as Philadelphia and Cologne, Germany. "We're looking at in the neighborhood of 1 million gallons a year in jet fuel savings if we could implement CDAs across the whole inbound operation [at Louisville] at night," said Capt. Karen Lee, UPS director of flight operations, at the Farnborough Air Show. Earlier trials in Louisville validate that ADS-B-assisted continuous descent arrivals (CDAs) could reduce nitrous oxide emissions and noise below 3,000 feet by 34 percent and 30 percent, respectively. UPS hopes to achieve a 15 percent increase in inbound capacity at Louisville by more efficient spacing.

UPS plans by 2008 to replace existing ADS-B gear on some 107 Boeing 757/767s, with SafeRoute displayed on Class 3 Boeing electronic flight bags. The EFBs will host cockpit display of traffic information (CDTI) functionality, with growth potential, including controller pilot data link communications (CPDLC). UPS has submitted the first four of up to 16 area navigation (RNAV) CDA procedures at Louisville. It expects to implement CDAs for its last 15 or so late night arrivals from the west into Louisville as soon as these initial procedures are approved, according to UPS advanced flight systems manager, Capt. Bob Hilb.

SafeRoute features Surface Area Movement Management (SAMM) and Merging & Spacing (M&S) functions. In the UPS installation, SAMM indicates the movement of transponder-equipped surface traffic (airplanes and vehicles) and airborne traffic in the terminal area on an EFB moving map. The M&S application provides speed commands, enabling pilots to maintain consistent spacing and be lined up earlier in the arrival process, reducing the need for low-altitude vectoring.

SafeRoute's CAVS function, short for CDTI-Assisted Visual Separation, can increase airport throughput by extending visual operations--with optimal separation clearances--into marginal visual flight rules (VFR) conditions and possibly into instrument meteorological conditions (IMC).

Throughput at Louisville declines from about 45 aircraft an hour in visual conditions to 30 aircraft an hour in IMC conditions, explains Cyro Stone, chief technologist for ACSS, an L-3 Communications/Thales company. Separation is increased to ensure safety. With SafeRoute, however, a pilot will be able to acquire the aircraft in front of him via the display, and even tell the controller the closure rate to the aircraft ahead, its flight ID and its ground speed, Stone asserts. Does that constitute "visual" acquisition? "The position we're hearing from FAA is that they'll be satisfied with that," he says. Throughput may not get back to 45 aircraft an hour in IMC, but it will improve from 30, he predicts. (Speed commands and information such as digital distance and closure rate will appear on a two-line display mounted under the mode control panel in the pilot's forward field of view.)

SAMM is designed to prevent runway incursions, including inadvertent taxiing onto active runways. As the pilot approaches the active area, the runway turns yellow on the moving map. If the pilot crosses the hold-short line, the runway turns red and the system issues an aural alert. If the pilot nevertheless crosses onto the active runway, SafeRoute displays the intruder aircraft in red, still allowing time to avert impact.

SafeRoute accepts Traffic Information Service-Broadcast (TIS-B) inputs, when available. TIS-B information complements SAMM, but TIS-B's built-in latency may limit its usefulness for M&S and CDAs.

Gulfstream Advances Synthetic Vision, EVS

Gulfstream plans to add two products on various business aircraft--synthetic vision-primary flight display (SV-PFD) and an upgraded enhanced vision system (EVSII). Developed with Honeywell, SV-PFD will be an option for existing G350, G450, G500 and G550 business jets equipped with the PlaneView cockpit. Following FAA certification in 2007, Gulfstream will offer synthetic vision for new and in-production aircraft.

The system features a 3D color image of terrain overlaid on PFD instrument readings, an improvement from PlaneView's 2D, blue-over-brown image. SV-PFD employs terrain, obstacle and runway data from Honeywell's enhanced ground proximity warning system (EGPWS), rendering features realistically by means of advanced graphics generators. The SV-PFD provides standard cues for attitude, altitude, airspeed and bank. Traffic alert collision avoidance system (TCAS) and terrain awareness and warning system (TAWS) alerts remain the same. But the system incorporates new head-up display (HUD) -type symbols such as a flight path marker, runway outline and runway lead-in line. Also starting in 2007, Gulfstream plans to replace its current enhanced vision system with EVSII for in-production G450s and G550s.

Developed with Kollsman Inc., EVSII incorporates a forward-looking infrared (FLIR) camera that projects images on the pilot's HUD. The new system has a cryogenically cooled detector for increased sensitivity in identifying runway lights during approach. Visit www.gulfstream.com, www.honeywell.com and www.kollsman.com.

IR Countermeasures

Northrop Grumman and Selex Sensors and Airborne Systems have strengthened their manufacturing and marketing partnership for Northrop's directional infrared countermeasure (DIRCM) systems, including the AN/AAQ-24(V) Nemesis and Guardian missile defense systems. As part of the agreement, Selex will continue to manufacture the transmitters that are used in the DIRCM units.

The company also will set up production of the Northrop-designed Mini Pointer-Tracker, a transmitter assembly that will support next-generation DIRCM systems, such as the Guardian. Nemesis, which is used on fixed- and rotary-wing platforms, protects against heat-seeking missiles by plotting the location of a launched missile and using a modulated beam of laser energy to defeat the threat. Visit www.northropgrumman.com and www.selex-sas.com.

Enhanced Vision

BAE Systems has demonstrated its Obstacle Cable and Terrain Avoidance System (OCTAS), which allows helicopter pilots to avoid wires, cables and other hazards. The day/night, all-weather OCTAS combines a radar cable detection (RCD) system and pilot display with BAE Systems' Terprom terrain profile mapping system. Other sensors can be added for specific missions, including: a 94-GHz imaging radar to improve visibility in sandstorms; a laser radar (LADAR) to increase cable detection capability; infrared sensors for sharper images in clear or hazy conditions; digital maps that provide a 3D moving terrain view and assistance in hostile areas; and active stick technology to supply feedback to pilots. In addition, users will have the option to link a helmet mounted display, based on the Eurofighter Typhoon helmet, into the OCTAS. Visit www.baesystems.com.

Nano Air Vehicle

Lockheed Martin's Advanced Technology Laboratories (ATL) will design a nano air vehicle (NAV) for military intelligence collection under a $1.7-million award from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The tiny, remote-controlled device will resemble a maple seed, with a one-bladed wing. The NAV will be about 1.5 inches (4 cm) long and weigh 0.07 ounces (2 grams) with a maximum takeoff weight of 0.35 ounces (10 grams). Telemetry, communications, navigation and imaging sensors, as well as battery power, will be housed in the wing, which will control the unit's lift and pitch. In a typical mission, a fighter would launch and control the NAV, which would rotate in flight like a maple tree seed, but provide a stable forward view to a hand-held display. ATL's team includes Lockheed Martin's Skunk Works and Advanced Technology Center, Sandia National Laboratories, AeroCraft, ATK Thiokol and the University of Pennsylvania. The agreement funds conceptual design, using prototype versions of the engine, airframe, flight control and communication systems, as well as computer models of the sensors and guidance system. Visit www.lockheedmartin.com.

Synthetic Vision 

The Chicago Police Department has contracted Hillsboro Aviation to install avionics equipment on a new Bell 206-B3 JetRanger. The Hillsboro, Ore.-based completions and modifications provider will install a Chelton FlightLogic synthetic vision electronic flight instrument system (EFIS) with two 12.1-inch liquid crystal display (LCD) monitors and a night vision goggle-configured cockpit. Other equipment includes an Avalex moving map, a digital video recorder, a FLIR pointing system and Ultra 8500XR thermal imager/camera, a Spectrolab SX-5 Nightsun and a microwave radio downlink system from Microwave Radio Communications. Hillsboro expects to deliver the JetRanger in February 2007. The Chicago Police and the Cook County Sheriff's Department will operate the helicopter alongside an existing Bell LongRanger IV currently being retrofitted by Hillsboro Aviation. Visit www.hillsboroaviation.com.

Data Monitoring

Two airlines have chosen Los Angeles-based Teledyne Controls' services for their fleets. Greek carrier, Aegean Airlines, will equip 17 Airbus A320s on order with Teledyne's flight data interface management unit (FDIMU), with options for six further aircraft. A compact data acquisition and recording system, the FDIMU is a single line replaceable unit combining three avionics systems--a flight data interface unit for mandatory data acquisition, a data management unit for aircraft and engine monitoring, and a digital access recorder. In a separate agreement, Blue Wings of Bocholt, Germany, has selected Teledyne to provide flight data monitoring (FDM) services in support of its flight operations quality assurance (FOQA) program. Visit www.teledynecontrols.com.

B787 Systems

Rockwell Collins has delivered the first B787 pilot control system to Boeing. This includes the control stand, throttle, speedbreak, flap control modules and the pitch, roll and yaw controls, as well as interfaces to the 787's fly-by-wire system. In a separate development, Collins has chosen Honeywell's enhanced ground proximity warning system (EGPWS) as a component for its configurable integrated surveillance system (CISS-2100) for the 787. Visit www.rockwellcollins.com and www.honeywell.com.

Pilatus Display

In partnership with Tucson, Ariz-based Universal Avionics, the Kansas City Aviation Center (KCAC) has received an FAA supplemental type certificate (STC) for a Pilatus PC-12 turboprop upgrade featuring Universal's EFI-890R display. The package includes two primary flight displays (PFDs) and one navigation display (ND) that will replace the aircraft's attitude director indicator (ADI), horizontal situation indicator (HSI), altimeter, radar indicator, vertical speed indicator (VSI), radio magnetic indicator (RMI) and airspeed indicators. Other features will be added, such as synthetic vision, terrain awareness warning system (TAWS), aeronautical charts and weather services. Olathe, Kan.-based KCAC holds the STC and provides the EFI-890R installation as part of its Pilatus retrofit program. Visit www.uasc.com and www.kcac.com.

Satcom Data Unit

Thales has launched its TopFlight satcom satellite data unit (SDU), which can provide wireless cell phone and high-speed Internet through Inmarsat's Swift Broadband service. Linked to Inmarsat I4 satellites, the SDU offers data speeds at up to 432 Kbits/s. The data can be displayed on a portable electronic device (PED) or laptop computer. The ARINC 781-compliant unit weighs 22 pounds (10 kg) and is housed in a single 6-MCU box. Geneva, Switzerland-based OnAir, a venture of Airbus and SITA Inc., will use TopFlight satcom devices to provide GSM/GPRS access for passengers. In the OnAir system, an onboard mobile base station will use satellite communications via Swift Broadband to transmit and receive calls from ground networks. According to Thales, passengers will be able to use GSM phones or PEDs for voice, SMS and e-mail services. Visit www.thalesgroup.com.

Communications

Annapolis, Md.-based ARINC has struck deals with three carriers for its GLOBALink flight communications services. American Airlines has renewed a contract for the GLOBALink VHF data link, air/ground domestic voice service in North America and other ARINC services, including D-ATIS, which provides information about weather and terminal conditions. The agreement also allows American and its affiliates, American Eagle and Executive Airlines, to use the GLOBALink HF data link service. Porter Airlines will receive communications services through the GLOBALink VHF data link from its hub at Toronto City Centre Airport in Canada. Included are ARINC's OpCenter air and ground message delivery service; WebASD flight-following application; air traffic control messaging service; and AviNet secure ground network. The Manila-based carrier, Philippine Airlines, will use the GLOBALink VHF on portions of its route network of 31 international and 20 domestic locations. Visit www.arinc.com.

Collision Avoidance

L-3 Avionics Systems, a subsidiary of L-3 Communications, has received an order to equip the Western Michigan University aircraft fleet with its SkyWatch collision avoidance system. The company will install SkyWatch on more than 45 Cirrus SR20 and SR22, Piper Arrow and Piper Seneca IV and V aircraft. The system uses replies to Mode C type interrogations to calculate the range, bearing, relative altitude and closure rate of potential traffic conflicts. Garmin International and Executive Beechcraft also have chosen SkyWatch, as well as the Stormscope Model WX-500, for a King Air C90 supplemental type certificate (STC) program. Visit www.l-3com.com.

Video Recorder

Lockheed Martin has selected the Smiths Aerospace digital video recorder for the Greek F-16, Block 50, program. The deal also includes options for additional recorders under the F-16 Block 50 foreign military sales program. The device is designed to record one to three channels of video and provide onboard data storage. Smiths will deliver the video recorders, as well as ground debrief systems, starting in 2007. Visit www.smiths-aerospace.com.

Flight Displays

Kortrijk, Belgium-based Barco's CHDD-254 head-down display will be used with the Thales electronic warfare suite on the Belgian Air Force's C-130H aircraft. Barco will supply the 5-by-4-inch cockpit displays, which feature optical characteristics, such as night vision imaging spectrometer (NVIS), multiple analog and digital video inputs, and integrated processing. Visit www.barco.com and www.thales.com.

Processors, Switches

Radstone Embedded Computing, Billerica, Mass., has received a $6-million contract to provide Astronautics Corp. of America with components in support of the Airbus A400M military transport program. The order consists of IMP2A 3U CompactPCI and IXT2B Intel Premium processors, as well as GBX16 managed Gigabit Ethernet switches. Visit www.radstone.com and www.astronautics.com.

Flight Management

The Canadian company, CMC Electronics, has unveiled the CMA-4000, a flight management and display system. A derivative of the CMA-4000 has been chosen by the Canadian government for the H-92 Maritime Helicopter Project, according to CMC. The CMA-4000 combines a flight management system (FMS) and control display unit (CDU) with air traffic management, digital map, terrain awareness and warning system (TAWS), radio management, multifunction display (MFD) symbol generation, video formatting and switching functions. The CMA-4000 uses a PCI open system architecture. It comes with various navigation, communications and display software and has the ability to drive up to two external MFDs. Visit www.cmcelectronics.ca.

Paperless Cockpit

Jeppesen has inked deals with three carriers--EgyptAir and Spanish airlines, Futura and Iberworld--to provide electronic flight bags (EFBs) and e-Link online chart access. Another airline, Etihad Airways of the United Arab Emirates, has contracted Jeppesen for its OPSControl flight operations management system. EgyptAir will receive a Class 3 EFB and e-Link and moving map applications. Future and Iberworld will use Class 2 EFBs, as well as the other Jeppesen services. Etihad Airways will employ Jeppesen's flight planning, weather and NOTAM modules, and crew briefing tools, on its fleet of Airbus and Boeing aircraft. Visit www.jeppesen.com.

Combat Training

Under a $98-million contract with the U.S. military, San Diego-based Cubic Corp. and its subcontractor, DRS Technologies, will supply the P5 combat training system/tactical combat training system (CTS/TCTS). Visit www.cubic.com.

Cockpit Avionics

Elbit Systems Ltd. of Israel has received a $17-million contract from Embraer to provide a cockpit avionics and logistics support package for the Columbia Air Force's Super Tucano aircraft. Visit www.elbitsystems.com.

Processors

The Norwegian company, VMETRO, has agreed to supply its conduction-cooled Phoenix VPF1 digital signal processors to BAE Systems for use in the U.S. Army Tactical Signals Intelligence Payload (TSP) program. Visit www.vmetro.com.

Voice Services

Blue Sky Network's two-way tracking and voice kit has obtained European Aviation Safety Agency certification for installation on the Eurocopter EC120B. Visit www.blueskynetwork.com.

UAV System

RADA Electronic Industries has received $1.27 million from an unidentified customer to supply various avionics units for an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) program. Visit www.rada.com.

Simulator

Sabena Flight Academy has granted a contract to Sim-Industries for a Boeing 737-700/800 full flight simulator. Visit www.sim-industries.com.

Correction

An article in the July 2006 issue incorrectly attributed the centralized data acquisition module (CDAM) on the Airbus A380 to Rockwell Collins. In fact, Sagem Defense Securite produces the unit. Visit www.sagemavionics.com.

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