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August 1, 2010
Airplane avionics systems are wholly dependent on software, but rarely does anyone but a software engineer wonder whether the programs that keep the plane aloft are anything but perfect in their operation. But as software programs become more complex, the testing and certification processes that ensure the viability of those systems must be equal to the task. “On the one hand, we have all these...
August 1, 2010
With less outside acknowledgement than one might expect, FAA over the second quarter awarded six major contracts for engineering work supporting the Next Generation Air Transportation System. The Systems Engineering 2020 contracts are described as landmark awards worth potentially $6.5 billion over 10 years the largest set of awards in FAA history. FAA in April awarded an industry team led by CSSI Inc., of...
August 1, 2010
High-tech systems that allow you to hover blind won’t be coming to your helicopter anytime soon. Meanwhile, our critical need remains a few more seconds of good references and a few dozen more yards of visibility before touchdown. Like that old Lynyrd Skynyrd song about escaping a gun-wielding boyfriend, just “give me three steps toward the door.” A common mistake is we see different...
August 1, 2010
Commercial COMAC C919 Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China Ltd. (COMAC) in July signed agreements with joint ventures involving GE Aviation and Rockwell Collins to provide avionics for the new C919 family of narrowbody aircraft. COMAC announced the selection of GE Aviation and AVIC Systems, partners to a proposed joint venture, to provide the avionics core processing system, display system and onboard...
August 1, 2010
Inertial Measurement Unit NovAtel, based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, released an addition to its GNSS/INS SPAN product family, the IMU-LCI. The IMU-LCI inertial measurement unit (IMU) contains a Northrop Grumman sensor that provides the low noise and stability required for applications requiring precise positioning and attitude. The custom NovAtel mechanical enclosure and software interface of the IMU...
August 1, 2010
Kevin Wright TTTech, based in Vienna, Austria, named Kevin Wright executive vice president of TTTech North America. In his new role, Wright also takes responsibility for TTTech Group’s global activities in the aerospace industry. Wright most recently was senior vice president of Strategy, Sales and Marketing for Meggitt Control Systems, a business unit of Meggitt PLC. Prior to that, he was...
August 1, 2010
August 18 Airborne RFID: Radio Frequency Identification Takes Off, an Avionics Magazine webinar, noon to 1 p.m. EST. For information and to register, visit www.aviationtoday.com/webinars/2010-0818.html 24-27 Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) Unmanned Systems North America 2010, Colorado Convention Center, Denver. Contact AUVSI, phone 703-845-9671 or visit www.auvsi.org...
July 1, 2010
Stealthy, supersonic and sensor-rich, the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, or Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), will engage air and ground targets day or night. Key to using the F-35 in combat is a Helmet-Mounted Display System (HMDS) that superimposes flight and target symbology on the view seen through the pilot’s helmet visor. This virtual Head-Up Display slews sensors and weapons to pilot head...
July 1, 2010
Standards-based aviation computing took off with VME (Versa Module Eurocard) when the military switched from mil-spec to commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) processors. But this ubiquitous parallel bus technology has reached a speed limit. Its potential successor — VPX — shares little beyond form factors with VME. But board vendors and their customers are impressed by VPX’s eye-popping speed...
July 1, 2010
Data communications is a key transformational program within FAA’s NextGen effort. To meet future demands and avoid gridlock in the sky and at airports, the agency’s NextGen Data Communications Program is designed to advance today’s analog voice-only air-to-ground communications system to one in which digital communications become an alternate and eventual predominant mode of...
July 1, 2010
North Carolina may be the “First in Flight,” as its license plate attests, but it’s back in the pack when it comes to state-by-state aerospace employment. Recently, though, the Tar Heel state has notched some significant wins in this area, headlined by the Honda Aircraft Co. decision in 2007 to base its world headquarters and HondaJet manufacturing plant in Greensboro. That same year...
July 1, 2010
The Perspectives column, “Finding No Fault,” by Ken Anderson (Avionics, February 2010, page 38) was informative and factual regarding the high cost of No Fault Found (NFF) electronics within the aviation industry. All electrical connectors are subject to corrosion; even gold-plated connectors are not immune. Corrosion in avionics connectors is invisible to the naked eye in the early stages and...
July 1, 2010
Publication Of ADS-B Out Performance Rule Starts The Clock Toward 2020 The FAA final rule establishing avionics performance requirements for Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) Out capability by 2020 was announced May 27 in a Washington, D.C., teleconference. FAA also issued advisory circular AC 20-165 in May, providing guidance for initial installation and airworthiness approval of ADS-B...
July 1, 2010
RTCA Appointments RTCA Inc., based in Washington, D.C., named Andrew V. Cebula vice president of strategy and programs. Most recently, Cebula was director of aviation affairs at Sensis Corp. In this new role, he will work to develop and execute strategies to ensure RTCA’s position as an important venue for tackling air transportation system implementation issues facing the global aviation community...
July 1, 2010
July 14-17 Airborne Law Enforcement Association (ALEA) Annual Convention, Tucson Convention Center, Tucson, Ariz. Contact ALEA, phone 301-631-2406 or visit www.alea.org. 19-25 Farnborough International Airshow, Farnborough Airport, England. Visit www.farnborough.com. 26-Aug. 1 EAA AirVenture, Wittman Regional Airport, Oshkosh, Wis. Visit www.airventure.org. August 18 Airborne RFID: Radio Frequency...
June 1, 2010
A vision that underpinned the formation 50 years ago of Europe’s multi-national air traffic control agency, Eurocontrol, was that one day there would be a Single European Sky (SES) instead of a fragmented, multi-faceted airspace structured around national boundaries. This vision has not yet materialized, although it is getting closer to realization. Eurocontrol and the European Commission (EC), the...
June 1, 2010
The 2010 NextGen Implementation Plan (NGIP) was issued by FAA in March to help inform the public of the agency’s plan to implement the NextGen concept over the next nine years (2009-2018). It identifies FAA’s accomplishments over the past year as well as the goals it has set for technology and program deployment and the commitments made to support those goals. According to its latest estimate...
June 1, 2010
Just a couple of years ago, high-speed broadband connectivity at 35,000 feet was still a dream for most commercial and business operators. Everyone knew it was coming; it was just a matter of when. Now, a couple years since the introduction of Inmarsat’s SwiftBroadband service, antenna manufacturers are seeing their products introduced on virtually every new aircraft delivery. And they can make a...
June 1, 2010
In front of a standing-room-only crowd at the Dirksen Senate office building in early May, Sen. Christopher “Kit” Bond (R-Missouri) modified an oft-used soundbite heard around Washington, D.C. the U.S. aerospace industry is too important to fail. No one is predicting the meltdown of the $214 billion U.S. aerospace industry, ala the U.S. automobile industry, any time soon. However, Bond and his...
June 1, 2010
Military Poseidon Update Boeing is moving ahead with flight and ground testing of the U.S. Navy’s P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft, and says it is on track to begin deliveries in 2013. Navy and Boeing officials briefed reporters on the test program at the Navy League Sea-Air-Space Exposition in National Harbor, Md., in May. The P-8A Poseidon, a modified Boeing 737-800, will replace the P-3...
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