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Friday, February 1, 2002

Industry Scan

IR-EVS on Track
The dual-band infrared enhanced vision system (IR-EVS) is on track for certification, says developer CMC Electronics Inc. The company has completed two sets of developmental flight trials, with more than 70 approaches in varying adverse weather conditions. Now in the final phases of product integration, the EVS system is scheduled to begin certification flight testing with the Federal Aviation Administration and Transport Canada late in 2002. CMC’s EVS will be usable with a head-up display (HUD) for approach guidance or with a head-down display for taxi guidance. The next step in the company’s modular development architecture will be the addition of millimeter wave radar (MMWR) capability. Visit www.cmcelectronics.ca.

Honeywell Bizjet Forecast
Honeywell’s post-Sept. 11 forecast of the business aviation market predicts a slight decline in deliveries during 2002. New aircraft deliveries are expected to drop by 7 to 8 percent, compared with 2001 levels. But deliveries in 2003 will exceed expected 2002 demand by about 4 percent, approaching the peak 2001 level, Honeywell predicts. Market drivers include an expected economic rebound in the third or fourth quarter of 2002, growth in new demand channels, such as fractionals, and development of the business and general aviation infrastructure in Asia and China. Demand for air charters is significantly above pre-September levels, according to an independent survey, and fractional operators are hiring pilots at "nearly double" their 1999 rate. Honeywell anticipates the delivery of 8,400 business aircraft over the next decade, valued at $130 billion. Visit www.honeywell.com.

Collins’ Cabin Surveillance
Rockwell Collins recently announced a highly configurable cabin surveillance and crew alerting system. The Video Intelligence System (VIS), an extension of Collins’ I2S (Integrated Information System), permits the installation of up to 32 cameras in steps of four–color or monochrome, ultra low-light resolution, wired or wireless–and is expandable to galley spaces and cargo holds.

Collins is exploring satcom (high-speed data) and VHF digital link, Mode 2 (VDL-2) to transmit video data to ground authorities. Data rates could range from 3 to 30 frames per second, based on the camera configuration.

VIS would range in price from about $15,000 to $50,000 per aircraft, depending on the configuration, Collins says. The $15,000 system would buy two cameras wired to a cockpit display unit. VIS is designed around COTS (commercial off-the-shelf) displays, such as portable pen tablets, but will support hard-mounted displays, says Tim Jensen, product marketing manager for surveillance systems. VIS also will feature 2.4-GHz, IEEE 802.11B cabin crew transceivers, operating over a Collins wireless local area network (LAN). Visit www.rockwellcollins.com.

Boeing Selects Thales-IS
Boeing has chosen Thales Avionics-Inflight Systems as one of two preferred airborne camera providers for cabin security in existing Boeing air transport aircraft. (The other provider is the Japanese camera company, Jamco.) Thales will work with Boeing Airplane Services on installing a baseline monitoring system that includes two wired cameras and a standalone display. An Asian carrier was expected to decide, in January 2002, whether to acquire the system.

In the baseline system, one camera views passengers entering the cabin and the other views the cabin from the cockpit door area. Customers can order an up to 10- camera configuration. The baseline does not include video recorders or the ability to transmit images to the ground. Visit www.thales-ifs.com.

Teledyne Serves eCabin
DeCrane Aircraft Holdings Inc. has selected Teledyne Controls to provide Ku-band service subscriptions and a 24-hour service center for DeCrane’s forthcoming eCabin.connect in-flight entertainment (IFE) and office productivity system. The eCabin system provides high-speed, satellite-based Internet connectivity, as well as e-mail and data/voice communications, for the business aviation market. The Ku-band service provides data rates from 512 kilobits/sec (Kbits/sec) to 2 megabits/sec via geostationary satellite links over North America, Europe and Asia. As of late December 2001, DeCrane had received eight orders: one for a Gulfstream IV-SP, five for Challenger 604s, and two for Global Express aircraft. The El Segundo, Calif., company expected to receive supplemental type certificates (STCs) on the aircraft types in January and February of 2002. Installed, the system costs less than $500,000.

A Teledyne Controls partnership with terminal manufacturer EMS Technologies will provide a complementary back channel of up to 128-Kbits/sec for over-ocean coverage via Inmarsat’s Swift64 service. Teledyne will provide single-point billing for all voice and data links. Besides Internet, e-mail, audio and video on demand, and the ability to play up to 20 different movies simultaneously, eCabin can store up to 50 full-length movies and hundreds of hours of audio. The system also displays moving maps with aircraft routes and close-ups of airport areas. Visit www.decraneaircraft.com and www.teledyne.com.

Harris Contracted for JSF
Harris Corp., Melbourne, Fla., will perform critical avionics tasks for the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) team under a three-year, $55-million award from Northrop Grumman. Harris will design the basic avionics architecture to be employed by all suppliers providing electronic subsystems for the JSF. The company also will design other hardware such as custom racks, circuit cards, connectors, power supplies and avionics backplanes. Harris expects to receive over $2 billion in advanced avionics systems design, development and production work on the JSF over the life of the program. Visit www.harris.com.

Focusing on Aging Avionics
Cross-service and -agency collaboration on aging aviation problems got a boost recently, when the high-level Joint Aeronautical Commanders Group (JACG) agreed to charter a recently formed interservice group focused solely on aging aircraft issues. The focus group, known as the Joint Council on Aging Aircraft (JCAA), will enjoy "a higher level of interest," as the JACG encompasses "essentially all of the commanders taking care of the aeronautical platforms of all of the agencies," says Col. Michael Carpenter, acting JCAA chairman and chief of the Planning Division in the Air Force Aging Aircraft system program office. JACG includes members from the Air Force, Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Federal Aviation Administration, NASA, U.S. Coast Guard and Defense Logistics Agency.

The JCAA initially will concentrate on avionics, wiring, corrosion, dynamic components and non-destructive inspection technologies, Carpenter says. The group will seek ways to share the accrued wisdom on aging aviation solutions and assemble a "decision-making toolset" to help program managers find the best answers for their problems.

Modernization in Brazil
Brazil’s air force has awarded Thales ATM a $121-million contract to modernize 79 radars that the company supplied some 20 years ago. Thales ATM will upgrade the secondary and primary radars with a secure, Mode-S-compatible detection system. The modernization program is scheduled for completion by 2004. Brazil has about 2,000 airports, and the country’s air traffic growth rate is 7 percent annually. Visit www.thalesatm.com.

Correction

The November 2001 issue of Avionics Magazine reported the death of Brian Trubshaw, Concorde test pilot, as Sept. 16. In fact, he died on March 24.

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