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January 1, 2014
The following issues are concerns for engineers working in the avionics industry today. Holt has addressed these issues with carefully thought-out product definitions and roadmaps.   Size, weight, power and cost reduction In avionics, low fuel and power costs equate to flying longer distances, or maximizing profit margins. A major initiative in the avionics market is the goal to reduce overall system...
December 1, 2013
Welcome to the December edition of Avionics magazine where we bring you our in-depth Buyer’s Guide for the industry. Putting together a project like this is always a painstaking process, but one we think offers a lot of value to our audience. I would also like to take this opportunity to introduce our new team and philosophy for Avionics magazine going forward. Emily Feliz, who was the editor of the...
November 1, 2013
Human factors engineering applies our understanding of the abilities and limitations of the human mind to the design of aircraft cockpits by studying the interaction of the pilot’s mind with proposed avionics systems rather than focusing on the avionics alone. Human factors engineering teaches that human machine interfaces (HMI) should be as intuitive and natural, as simple and direct as possible...
November 1, 2013
The Naval Air Systems Command Special Surveillance Program office sponsored the integration of the R3E All Weather Sense and Avoid System on the TigerShark UAS. Two TigerSharks demonstrated autonomous sense-and- avoid capability in April. Automatic Dependent Surveillance–Broadcast (ADS-B) technology central to NextGen airspace management can enable Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) to cue their ground...
November 1, 2013
Hundreds of aviation professionals gathered in Atlantic City, N.J., in September to hear about NextGen technologies, implementation and challenges at Avionics Magazine’s third annual Avionics for NextGen conference. Congressman Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.), chairman of the House subcommittee on aviation, kicked off the conference, saying the industry has made a lot of progress on NextGen, but faces many...
November 1, 2013
The engineering required to design, build, operate and maintain modern aircraft is no less than a monumental feat. Hardware, software and integration challenges have been solved by many hours of effort from countless engineers. For example, modular racking circuit card assemblies now comprise the majority of the hardware architecture, moving away from traditional line replaceable electronic or mechanical...
November 1, 2013
Satellite-based communications is a vital part of airspace modernization initiatives around the world, notably NextGen in the United States and SESAR in Europe. Satellite service provider Inmarsat recently was granted approval for safety services over its SwiftBroadband network, which the company says will pave the way for a new generation of smaller, lighter and less expensive avionics that will provide...
November 1, 2013
Teledyne Controls manufactures a range of data acquisition units covering the commercial, regional, military and business aircraft markets. Like it has in many other industries, “big data” has taken hold in aviation. Boeing engineers report that on the 787 flight data can be collected from about 146,000 parameters; for operating efficiency experts this cache of data is a potential gold mine. It...
November 1, 2013
  As I write this column in mid-October from my Maryland office, just a stones-throw from our nation’s Capitol, the government is shutdown. Closed. Hundreds of thousands of federal workers around the country were told to stay home; others were deemed “essential” and told to come to work, and no one is getting paid. Many around the country have expressed frustration and outrage with...
November 1, 2013
Since the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released its “National Broadband Plan” in 2010, the agency has been aggressively trying to make more spectrum available for broadband. Besides exploring various allocation and auction mechanisms, the FCC recently released a study from its Technical Advisory Council (TAC) proposing to modify its approach to analyzing interference thresholds as...
November 1, 2013
FAA Considers Relaxing PED Rules FAA’s rules regulating the use of personal electronic devices (PED) on commercial aircraft are expected to change by 2014, as a federal advisory panel is expected to release recommendations for easing the regulations. An Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) consisting of PED manufacturers and trade associations, pilot and flight attendant groups, airline operators and...
November 1, 2013
Airborne Server PMA Kontron received FAA Parts Manufacturer Approval (PMA) on its next-generation ACE Flight 600 general purpose airborne server. According to the company, this milestone signifies that the airborne server meets the high safety and regulatory standards required for commercial aviation, and is suitable for aircraft installations worldwide. The Kontron ACE Flight 600 integrates dual core 1.5...
November 1, 2013
Bill Darbe Satcom Direct, of Satellite Beach, Fla., named Bill Darbe its director of dealer programs. Darbe will be responsible for implementing aftermarket dealer programs to support the introduction of Satcom Direct’s new hardware systems. His initial focus will be to create Wi-Fi certification programs for the new Satcom Direct Router and to work with the distribution channel to help promote and...
October 1, 2013
The UTC Aerospace SmartDisplay EFB system employs a dual-partitioned architecture to enable FAA-certified software and Windows-based EFB applications to operate concurrently on the same EFB system, the company said. Pads are quickly becoming standard equipment in the cockpits of commercial aircraft. American Airlines, the first carrier to receive FAA clearance to use the devices in all phases of flight...
October 1, 2013
Honeywell’s Primus Epic-based EASy II cockpit, which was certified in May on Dassault Falcon 2000S, Falcon 2000LXS and 7X, includes NextGen and SESAR-compatible capabilities, including ADS-B and CPDLC. NextGen in the United States and similar airspace modernization initiatives around the world are spurring fresh interest from business aircraft operators to upgrade their systems before the mandates...
October 1, 2013
The July crash of an Asiana Boeing 777 in San Francisco has reignited the call within the industry for better avionics training for pilots Should professional pilots get additional training for advanced avionics? Pilots, safety groups and trainers believe so. Experts say better avionics training for highly automated aircraft is as important as developing good “stick and rudder” skills. At the...
October 1, 2013
Aviation Maintenance Science students at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. A number of schools teach avionics maintenance, but until fairly recently, there has been no standard, portable certificate attesting to a graduate’s or industry-taught veteran’s understanding of avionics basics and no widely accepted list of avionics subjects around which to build a real-world curriculum. FAA has...
October 1, 2013
It’s a tough job being a pilot, and if industry reports and forecasts are to be believed, it’s about to get tougher. There’s growing demand for experienced and trained pilots to satisfy the exploding growth forecasted for air travel around the world in the coming decades. But I dare say a career in aviation, regardless of whether it’s a pilot, flight attendant or baggage handler, is...
October 1, 2013
Coming soon, all airlines will use the Internet and FAA’s enhanced, secure-connection Common Message Handling Protocol (CMHP) to access FAA for all National Airspace System (NAS) subsystems, including the National Airspace Data Interchange Network (NADIN), the Weather Message Switching Center Replacement (WMSCR) and the Automated Weather Observing System (AWOS) Data Acquisition System (ADAS). FAA is...
October 1, 2013
FAA Deploys Time-Based Air Traffic System FAA in August began initial deployment of a new time-based air traffic metering tool at all 20 en route air traffic control centers across the United States. The Time-Based Flow Management (TBFM) system, which is designed to improve the flow of aircraft within congested airspace, will replace the Traffic Management Advisor (TMA) system. It uses time-based...
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