Thursday, April 1, 2004
Firsts on the Embraer 170
Honeywell has announced two "firsts," following the Brazilian authorities' and U.S. Federal Aviation Administration's type certification of the avionics manufacturer's Primus Epic integrated avionics and two-axis fly-by-wire system on the Embraer 170 in late February. The approvals delivered the first certification of both systems in the same aircraft and first certification of Primus Epic on a commercial airliner. The Embraer 170 cockpit features five 10-by-8-inch liquid crystal displays: two primary flight displays, two multifunction displays and an engine indication and crew alert system (EICAS) display. A control cursor device (CCD) on the center console provides the interface for a "point-and-click, Windows-type operating environment," described by Honeywell vice president Vicki Panhuise. Embraer has orders for 120 Embraer 170s, including 85 from US Airways. Visit www.honeywell.com and www.embraer.com.
Galileo Accord Nearer
Representatives of the European Commission (EC) and the United States reached agreement in late February on the last major issue in long-running negotiations regarding interoperability and compatibility between Europe's planned Galileo satnav system and the U.S. GPS system. Signatures on a formal agreement are expected as early as June 2004, establishing a framework for continuing cooperation.
European representatives agreed to accept, as a baseline, a modulation scheme for the Galileo open service (OS) that the United States finds acceptable from a military perspective. This opens the way to a common, interoperable civilian signal for both Galileo and the future, modernized GPS III constellation. The Europeans have room to "optimize" Galileo signal structures, as long as the modulations meet parameters described in a classified, draft U.S. "security criteria" document. Negotiators reached agreement on the baseline modulation for Galileo's public regulated service (PRS) last November.
Other broad areas of agreement include confirmation of interoperable time and geodesy standards, non-discrimination in trade in satnav goods and services, and access to the open services of both systems. Two items still to be worked out are legal technicalities regarding this type of "mixed competency" agreement and an acceptable means for exchanging classified materials, so that the EC can approve the security criteria.
Meanwhile, the European Space Agency (ESA) has awarded a contract to launch development of the first Galileo user receivers. The 3-million-euro contract went to a consortium led by Belgium-based Septentrio and that includes Rockwell Collins France, QinetiQ, Delft University of Technology, Ursa Minor, Orban Microwave Products NV, Deimos, SkySoft, Sagem and France Developpement Conseil. The test user receivers will "play a crucial role in the development and performance validation of the Galileo system," according to a Septentrio release. Galileo, nominally scheduled to be operational in 2008, is expected to be interoperable with the GPS and Russian GLONASS satnav systems.
BAE Systems has tapped Dy 4 Systems to provide a custom form-factor computing module for use on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The module will be based on Dy 4's commercial off-the-shelf CHAMP-AV II Quad PowerPC 7410 digital signal processor, with StarFabric switched interconnect. Visit www.dy4.com.
Navy Emergency Gear
The U.S. Navy awarded Tadiran Spectralink Ltd., part of the Elisra Group, an up to $20-million contract to provide 7,000 AN/PRC-149 personal locator beacon and voice transceivers (PLBVTs) and up to 4,000 AN/URT-140 emergency locator transmitters (ELTs). The Israeli company already has supplied the Navy with 12,000 PLBVTs and 5,000 ELTs. Visit www.tadspec.com.
IHAS 8000 STC'd on Citations
The Federal Aviation Administration recently granted Jet Aviation Dallas a supplemental type certificate for the installation of Bendix/King IHAS 8000 integrated hazard avoidance system in Cessna Citation S550, 500, 550 and 560 aircraft. With its sunlight-readable KMD 850 multifunction display, the IHAS 8000 provides aircraft position, as well as weather, traffic and terrain information on a single display. Visit www.jetaviation.com.
Australian ATC Transceivers
NEC Australia Pty Ltd. has selected Rohde & Schwarz to supply more than 500 VHF transceivers as part of Airservices Australia's continent-wide air traffic control modernization effort. The ATC provider also supplies air rescue and radar communications. Delivery is expected by the end of 2005. Visit www.press.rohde-schwarz.com.
7E7 Core Computer
Boeing has selected Smiths Aerospace to provide the Common Core System (CCS) for the 7E7 Dreamliner aircraft. Revenue from the award could exceed $1 billion in value. Smiths says the CCS will host all of the airplane's avionics and utilities functions. It "will replace dozens of traditional, standalone computers and data buses fitted to present-day aircraft," says a Smiths release. The CCS will use Wind River's partitioning operating system. It will host the software applications of the avionics and utilities functions. Visit www.smiths-aerospace.com.
Multifunction Display TSO
The Display Systems division of L-3 Communications announced the Federal Aviation Administration's technical standard order (TSO) approval of its PVI-600 Series multifunction display (MFD), the division's first product developed for the commercial market. The MFD can replace radar indicators with instruments that can show radar, traffic alert and collision avoidance system (TCAS), and terrain awareness warning system (TAWS) data. Visit www.l-3com.com.
Ryanair Data Monitoring
Ryanair has chosen Teledyne Controls' flight data monitoring solution to supplement its flight safety program. Teledyne will provide Ryanair digital flight data acquisition units, Wireless GroundLink (wireless quick access recorder) for data recording and transmission, and flight data monitoring services for analysis and reporting. Visit www.teledynecontrols.com.
ARINC Via Internet
ARINC Inc.'s Industry Activities division, as of Jan. 1, 2004, no longer automatically distributes paper copies of published documents, excepting meeting announcements. Draft standards and other documents are available at its Web site, www.arinc.com. Electronic mailing list subscriptions are handled at http://lists.arinc.com/mailman/listinfo.
Updating USAF Aircraft
Boeing has selected both Honeywell and Rockwell Collins to provide new systems for U.S. Air Force aircraft. Honeywell will supply the H-764 embedded GPS/inertial navigation system for F/A-18E/F aircraft. The system is designed to provide accurate mission information "even in environments where GPS is jammed," according to a Honeywell release. Boeing has contracted Rockwell Collins to develop a new display that gives B-1B bombers greater threat situational awareness. Collins will produce a new 5-by-7-inch color, multifunction display, designed to allow connectivity with Link 16 and other data links. Visit www.honeywell.com and www.rockwellcollins.com.
CMC Electronics Inc. is supplying its GPS-based flight management system (GPS/FMS) to three operators upgrading their Boeing 747s. The CMA-900 multisensor system is being, or will be installed in Martinair's four B747s, Kalitta Air's 11 B747s, and Air France's eight B747-200s. KLM Engineering and Maintenance will install an integrated, triple CMA-900 configuration in the Martinair aircraft (shown above). Ypsilanti, Mich.-based Kalitta will equip its aircraft with dual GPS/FMS, as well as triple inertial sensors and dual Astronautics electronic flight instrument system (EFIS). And Air France will install a CMA-900 with the Carousel IV inertial system in its B747s. Visit www.cmcelectronics.com.
Challenger CL-601 STC
Universal Avionics Systems Corp.'s integrated flat panel instrument display suite has received supplemental type certificate (STC) approval on a Challenger CL-601 aircraft. The STC, which was achieved by Mid Canada Mod Center, includes the replacement of electronic attitude director indicator and horizontal situation indicator instruments with four Universal Avionics EFI-640 flat panel displays. The upgrade encompasses a multifunction display, terrain awareness warning system (TAWS), Universal cockpit display, and dual UNS-1F flight management systems. Visit www.uasc.com.
Under a $10-million contract from Boeing, L-3 Communications Display Systems will provide cockpit displays for the C-17 Globemaster III transport aircraft. The L-3 Communications division will design and manufacture mission computer display units (DUs) that will present data in monochrome alphanumeric text in response to inputs from the aircraft mission computer and the crew. The 4-by-3-inch DUs are active matrix liquid crystal displays compatible with night vision goggles.
South African IFE
Rockwell Collins will supply in-flight entertainment (IFE) equipment on board 11 South African Airways Airbus 319 aircraft. Delivery is expected to commence this year. The agreement includes the installation of Collins' Programmable Audio Video Entertainment Systems (PAVES), providing 24-channel, overhead video on 8.4-inch, retractable monitors. South African Airways also employs PAVES on its fleet of Boeing 737-800 aircraft. Visit www.rockwellcollins.com.
European ATM Association Launched
European research and development organizations have banded together to share expertise and promote new technologies in air traffic management. Called the European ATM Research and Development Association, or EATRADA, the new alliance includes as members UK's Qinetiq and National Air Traffic Services, Germany's DFS (air traffic services provider) and DLR (national aerospace center), the Netherlands' NLR (national aerospace laboratory), Italy's SICTA (ATC research center) and France's Sofreavia (technical support organization). EATRADA is open to other R&D organizations in Europe, including air traffic service providers and universities, according to a release.
"It's not good to have people [in ATM R&D] going in different directions," says Ben White, Qinetiq's media relations manager, explaining why EATRADA was formed. In response, the new association drew up the following goals to foster R&D harmonization: establishment of an information network among members, promotion of an R&D point of view, provision of a forum for multilateral cooperation, development and circulation of new ideas and innovation in ATM research, and harmonization of R&D capabilities. EATRADA "might also establish a center of excellence," White adds. It plans to share information on ATM technologies through seminars, symposia and a newsletter.
Star Navigation Systems Group has signed an agreement with Indian regional carrier, Air Sahara, to install Star's In-Flight Safety Monitoring System (ISMS) on an Air Sahara Boeing 737-700 aircraft, as part of a system test. Upon successful completion of the three-month trial, slated to begin this spring, Sahara is expected to purchase and install a minimum of 15 ISMS units.
ISMS includes an airborne element to read, analyze and store flight data. The airborne equipment also transmits parameters and alert notifications in encrypted format to the ground, using real-time satellite communications. A ground station receives the data, monitors and stores it. Alerts are automatically transmitted via secure Internet links to an airline's operations control or maintenance control center. Ground station servers, hosting proprietary Star Navigation software, are located in Toronto, where Star Navigation is based. Decrypted data is available to support airline flight operations quality assurance (FOQA) and maintenance operations quality assurance (MOQA) activities. Visit www.star-navigation.com.
Bulgarian Command & Control
Bulgaria is about to have a national military command-and-control center courtesy of the U.S. Foreign Military Sales program. The U.S. Air Force Material Command's Electronic Systems Center, Hanscom AFB, Mass., selected Northrop Grumman Corp. to develop, integrate, test, install and support systems for the center, to be located at Bulgaria's capital, Sophia. Scheduled to be operational by this summer, the center will be equipped with the interoperable C4I services (ICS) server and the command-and-control personal computer workstation. These systems will be interoperable with the U.S. Department of Defense's global command-and-control system, which has been used during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Visit www.northgrum.com
New Jeppesen EFB Imminent
Jeppesen is about to launch its Class 1 electronic flight bag (EFB), following a proof-of-concept study that has several U.S. airlines participating. The low-cost, fully portable EFB's availability to aircraft operators, planned for this spring, follows Jeppesen's development and the Federal Aviation Administration's certification of a Class 3 EFB (integrated into the flight deck), achieved in October 2003 for the Boeing 777. Using industrial-grade tablet computers, the Class 1 EFB study is examining two Jeppesen-developed software applications: one that organizes and displays Jeppesen Airway Manual navigation charts and one that provides searchable electronic files that incorporate the data from the paper manuals needed on a flight deck. Jeppesen's Class 1 EFB will be a bundled package, including both hardware and software. Wireless technology and occasionally connected computing (OCC) will allow documents and data to be automatically updated when the EFB nears a wireless network terminal. Visit www.jeppesen.com.
F-15 Security Upgrade
Rockwell Collins will replace one of the U.S. Air Force F-15 Eagle's single-band radios with a multiband radio, providing direct VHF communications to civil air traffic control and civilian aircraft. The contract covers a maximum of 810 radios. Visit www.rockwellcollins.com.
Pentar Has Moved
Pentar Avionics recently moved to its new address: 22125 17th Ave. S.E., Suite 107, Bothell, Wash. 98012. Its phone number is 425-424-3370, and fax is 425-424-3380. Visit www.pentar.com.
F-16 Missile Warning
Israeli Air Force tests of Elisra Group's PAWS-2 infrared missile warning system for the F-16 have demonstrated the sensor's ability to detect and track targets against background landscape. The ongoing tests are part of a risk reduction plan. Visit www.elisra.com.
German holiday airline, Hapag Lloyd Fluggesellschaft, has chosen the FlightVu cockpit door monitoring systems for its 29 Boeing 737-800s. AD Aerospace and Aircraft Engineering & Installation Services are providing the system and installation design, respectively. Visit www.ad-aero.com and www.aeisinc.com.
Tornado Map Display
Under a $70-million contract, BAE Systems will provide 128 radar map display subsystems for the UK Royal Air Force's Tornado GR4 ground attack aircraft. Visit www.baesystems.com.
All Nippon Airways and Boeing have signed a service agreement for installation of the Connexion by Boeing mobile Internet service on the carrier's long-haul aircraft fleet. Visit www.ana.co.jp.