Air Data Line Switching
GE Druck has introduced a new air data line switching unit, designed to enhance the operation of air data test sets by simplifying the testing of multiple pitot-static systems. The LSU 105 can be used with both civil and military aircraft. It comes with color-coded valves, so that technicians can quickly connect the air data test set to multiple systems simultaneously. Each of the LSU 105’s four pitot-static channels can be fully isolated to allow independent instrument testing, which is conventionally required. The switching unit includes quick-connect inlets and a set of color-coded hoses for connection to the air data test set. For the aircraft under test, four similarly configured pitot-static outlets are provided, with control levers. Additional hose kits for connection of each outlet channel to the aircraft also are available. Visit www.druck.com.
Power Supply and Display
A self-contained power supply and display for gas mass flowmeters, pressure transducers or any device with a voltage output has been introduced by Teledyne Hastings. The HPS 100 features an automatically generated set point (0 to 5 volts or 0 to 10 volts), a transducer connector and interface connector. The HPS 100 comes fully configured, displaying the required units, when the product is supplied with a transducer. The display also can be calibrated to indicate units of choice. Controls can be accessed via an RS232 interface. A metal case with a mains input houses the display and power supply. Visit www.hastings-inst.com.
Data Mining Tool
Software that allows airlines to search through data to identify safety-related trends and patterns has been made available, thanks to a licensing agreement between UK-based AvSoft and the Mitre Group. (Mitre has granted a license for its Aviation Safety Data Mining Workbench.) AvSoft will support and market the software, which was designed to help air safety officers formulate corrective actions. Visit www.avsoft.co.uk and www.mitre.org.
Recognizing that aviation equipment is becoming smaller and requiring greater protection, Hardigg Cases, South Deerfield, Mass., has developed a line of ruggedized carrying cases, called Storm Case. The injection-molded cases include "press & pull" latches, designed to hold if a case is dropped. Guaranteed for life, the Storm Case is watertight, dent-resistant and shatter-resistant. It comes in 10 sizes, ranging from 13 by 9 by 6 inches to 29 by 18 by 10.5 inches. Visit www.stormcase.com.
AirBorn, Addison, Texas, offers a line of nano-miniature connectors for applications that require small size and light weight. The N-series connectors feature ruggedized, polarized metal shells for board-to-cable, cable-to-cable and board-to-board applications. They include 0.025-inch (0.635-mm) pitch contacts side by side, and 0.0125-inch (0.318-mm) offsets row to row. The connectors are available in horizontal and vertical configurations, with pins or sockets in 10 sizes, from nine to 85 contacts. The N-series connectors are designed with molded insulators housed in aluminum shells, offering the ability to customize the product in both shell and termination configurations. Visit www.airborn.com.
Data Transfer System
In-flight entertainment (IFE) provider Matsushita Avionics Systems (MAS) recently introduced its Terminal Cellular Bridge (TCB) for wireless data transfer. It allows airlines to offload their IFE usage and maintenance data from an aircraft and load new IFE content, such as interactive screens and survey questions. The tri-band GSM (global system for mobile communications) telephone can interface with existing cellular systems to create an end-to-end digital data supply chain. The TCB can achieve data transfer rates up to 28.8 kilobits/sec, depending on the local cellular service. It is DO-160D qualified and meets the sustained vibration specifications for both Boeing and Airbus. MAS will provide the TCB as part of its MASLink data transfer system through an agreement with Innovative Media Solutions, Anaheim, Calif. Visit www.mascorp.com.
Rubidium Frequency Standard
A rubidium frequency standard that provides simultaneous sine wave outputs of 10 MHz, 1 MHz and 1 pulse per second, along with a synthesized sine wave output, has been introduced by Novatech Instruments Inc. The Model 2955AR contains an internal, atomic resonance rubidium oscillator and direct digital synthesizer. It was designed to be used as a master oscillator in laboratories and ground stations. The synthesized output can be preset to a user-specified frequency or user-programmed in the field by ASCII (American standard code for information interchange) commands, (via RS232), which are saved in non-volatile EEPROM (electrically erasable programmable read only memory). Visit www.novatech-instr.com.
Voice Warning System
The VWS-400 voice warning system, which integrates, processes, prioritizes and produces voice and tone warnings, has been introduced by Specialty Enterprises Ltd., Potomac, Md. The warnings are in response to inputs from various sources, including discrete digital inputs, warning tones from avionics systems, and synthesized audio messages from systems, such as radar altimeters and flight directors. Messages are stored in WAV (audio waveform format developed jointly by Microsoft and IBM), and the VWS-400 provides up to 64 seconds of message memory. The voice warning system also can detect synthesized audio messages, prioritize them and transfer them, unmodified. The VWS-400’s message logic and the messages are reprogrammable, using Specialty Enterprises’ programmer unit. For more information, call 301-990-733.
RF Signal Analyzer
A 2.7-GHz radio frequency (RF) signal analyzer, the NI PXI-56601, from National Instruments, Austin, Texas, provides a broadband RF digitizer with greater than 80 dB dynamic range. Based on a virtual instrumentation architecture, the NI PXI-5660 includes a broadband RF down-converter, intermediate frequency (IF) digitizer and a Spectral Measurements Toolkit for the company’s LabVIEW and LabWindows/CVI software environments. The RF front-end acquires signals from 9 KHz to 2.7 GHz, with up to 20-MHz real-time bandwidth. The product is packaged in the 3U PXI form factor and uses Pentium microprocessors, digital down-conversion application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) and "ultra-miniature" acoustic filters and oscillators. Visit www.ni.com.
Radstone Technology Corp., Woodcliff Lake, N.J., has introduced Octegra2, a video and graphics module permitting multiple video input sources to be shared and displayed on multiple displays at the same time. The Octegra2 motherboard is supported by the VIM1 video mezzanine card, enabing four simultaneous video inputs. The VIM1 expansion card is able to digitize PAL/NTSC/RS170 composite video, RGB interlaced and non-interlaced video, and digital video. Visit www.radstone.com.
Analog I/O Card
A new VME-based analog I/O card (64CA3) from North Atlantic Industries’ Apex Signal Division offers up to 60 channels of analog-to-digital (A/D) or digital-to-analog (D/A) conversion or 36 channels of resistance temperature detection (RTD). Each A/D channel uses individual 16-bit A/D converters with sampling rates of 50 KHz per channel. A/D channels are automatically calibrated, on a rotating basis, to eliminate offset and gain errors. Built-in diagnostics provide malfunction alerts within five seconds. The card is available in two temperature ranges: 0 to 70 degrees C and —40 to 85 degrees C, in both air-cooled and conduction-cooled versions. Visit www.naii.com.
Copenhagen-based Thrane & Thrane has unveiled the Aero-HSD, a multichannel voice, fax and high-speed data satcom solution. Aero-HSD integrates two Inmarsat services–Aero-H and Swift64–into one system. The new product adds mobile packet data service (MPDS), which can lower the cost of connectivity, as users pay for data transmitted rather than for connection time. Aero-HSD components include antenna, handsets, satellite data unit, high power amplifier and a diplexer/low noise amplifier. Excluding the antenna, the system weighs under 27 pounds (12 kg), which is smaller and lighter than comparable systems, Thrane & Thrane says. The estimated price for a complete system is about $300,000, including the antenna. Visit www.tt.dk.
A combination computer terminal and mobile phone that provides pilots with information to do operational planning, calculations and reports while seated in their cockpits has been introduced by European Aeronautical Group (EAG–formerly SAS Flight Support), in Stockholm. The personal, pocket-sized terminal/phone, a Nokia 9210, gives pilots e-mail and Internet access via a server provided by EAG. Called The Wireless Aviator, or TWA, the processor/phone and EAG service allows pilots to send digital messages to a mobile Internet connection, where calculations can be made on the server and then sent back to the pilots. SAS Flight Support’s name change to EAG is the result of its recent agreement to acquire the assets of Thales Group’s Hersham, UK-based Aeronautical Services Group, which provides the route documentation product, Aerad, and flight management system (FMS) data services. Visit www.sasflightsupport.com.
1553 Interface Terminal
Data Device Corp. (DDC) has introduced another product in its Enhanced Mini-ACE series, a 3.3-volt, fully integrated Mil-Std-1553 interface terminal. One of its main advantages is that the terminal, designated the Mini-ACE Mark3, does not need a 5-volt power supply and thus saves space, weight and cost. With a 0.77-square inch area and 0.13-inch height, it uses 23 percent less board space than other ceramic package designs, according to DDC. The Mini-ACE Mark3 is packaged in a ceramic quad flat package (CQFP). Available in various configurations, it can be acquired with RT-only or full BC/RT/MT functionality. The Mark3 can have either a PCI or generic processor back-end interface. Visit www.ddc-web.com.
Moldable heaters that can protect batteries and other items from cold environments have been introduced by Elmwood Sensors Inc. Using dielectric substrate materials–such as silicone, polyimide, neoprene and polyester–the company forms, molds or curves the heaters to produce a custom design that conforms to complex shapes. Customization also includes thermal specifications. Temperature control components, thermostats, thermistors, thermocouples, thermal fuses and other control devices are available, as well. Elmwood Sensors is an Invensys Systems company, based in Pawtucket, RI. Visit www.elmwoodsensors.com.
An aviation weather system with storm tracking and lightning detection has been introduced by Minneapolis-based Meteorlogix. Called the MxVision AviationSentry, the PC-based weather system receives real-time data from satellite download, weather satellite photos and forecast maps. It displays the data on color topographical maps. During flight planning, pilots can drag a computer mouse across a map, and the system automatically collects the current and developing weather data needed to determine the fastest, safest route. MxVision AviationSentry includes a storm tracking capability, allowing pilots to see the direction of weather, and a function called Lightning Manager, which monitors lightning strikes. Visit www.meteorlogix.com.
Passenger Map System
TEAC will make available in the first quarter of 2003 the first module of its Advanced In-Flight Entertainment System, a computer-generated, two-dimensional and three-dimensional topographical route map system for passenger viewing. The AirTrack 3-D Flight View software continually updates the aircraft’s position on a map. It uses data for all national and international routes flown by the aircraft. Various simulated views and displays can be selected, including a simultaneous view of the flight plan and actual flight, simulated topographical map views of terrain below the aircraft as seen from either the right or left passenger window, simulated landing/takeoff views customized to each airport, and a topographical landscape view as seen from a vantage point behind the simulated aircraft. Software and updates are loaded on a video file server via DVD-ROM, removable hard disk drive or high-speed data link. Visit www.teac-recorders.com.
Irvine, Calif.-based Racal Instruments recently introduced a 100 million-samples per second (MS/sec), PXI arbitrary waveform generator (ARB), designed for radar signal simulation, multichannel tone simulations and frequency response testing. Designated the Model 3155, the ARB provides a dynamic range up to 84 decibels (dB) and arbitrary sweep capabilities. It outputs standard functions (sine, square, triangle, etc.) at frequencies up to 50 megahertz (MHz), with a generator output rate of up to 100 MS/sec. The Model 3155 has an internal 4096-step sequencer with flexible advance modes and trigger timer. Visit www.racalinst.com.
Mesa, Ariz.-based Semflex has introduced a new SM Series cable for use in applications from DC to 18 gigahertz (GHz). It was designed for such applications as military electronic countermeasures (ECM) and guidance systems, commercial antennas, and wherever compact or densely spaced radio frequency (RF) interconnections are needed. The cable was designed, as well, to be highly flexible and allow designers to bypass the step of fabricating three-dimensional semirigid drawings. The SM Series cable consists of a braided layer over a served foil, providing more than 100 decibels (dB) of shielding. It is available in two sizes: the SM402, for use with .141 semirigid connectors, and the SM405, for use with .086 semirigid connectors. Visit www.semflex.com.
Fiber Optic Connectors
ITT Industries, Cannon, of Santa Ana, Calif., now offers a new line of harsh-environment connectors to accompany its PHD multichannel optical interconnects system. The connectors were designed for military and avionics applications. They expand the Cannon PHD system, which was developed to overcome the limitations of fiber optic products in a severe environment by using ceramic ferrule technology and military-grade designs. The system accepts various fiber types: single-mode, multimode and plastic fiber. Visit www.ittcannon.com.
For pilots in either visual or instrument flight rule (VFR/IFR) training, TRC Development has introduced its Real Cockpit’s Basic ATD aircraft training device. Duplicating a Cessna 172 instrument panel, the system is driven by a PC running Microsoft Flight Simulator 2002. A single USB connection links the panel with the personal computer. TRC Development bv is based in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Visit www.therealcockpit.com.
Coffee Table Book
North Shore Press has published photographer Paul Bowen’s third coffee table book, titled Air to Air Warbirds. The 224-page volume, measuring 10 by 12 inches (25.4 by 30.5 cm), includes more than 500 images of combat airplanes flown in World War II. The book’s forward was written by R.A. "Bob" Hoover, a decorated fighter pilot who flew in World War II. Individual copies cost $70. An Air to Air Warbirds calendar also is available for $14.95. Visit www.airtoair.net.
Thales Computers has introduced an off-the-shelf enclosure designed for airborne and other harsh environment applications. Called the 3/4ATR-WA-M28 Airborne Rack, the enclosure can accommodate 6U VME64x boards and many IEEE1101-compliant, convection-cooled boards that employ a backplane with PO connectors. The enclosure meets RTCA DO-160D and Mil-Std-810 requirements for harsh environment and airborne use. The 3/4ATR-WA-M28 employs conductive interior surfaces that use flat gasketing methods to reduce electromagentic compatibility/interference (EMC/EMI) in accordance with Mil-Std-461. Visit www.thalescomputers.com
Maxwell Technologies Inc., San Diego, offers a quad 8-bit multiplying digital-to-analog converter (DAC), the Model 8408. It has four separate DACs, each with its own reference input and onboard data latches. Data loading into the 8408 is similar to the write cycle utilized in RAM. The data converter was designed for audio decoding and process control. Visit www.maxwell.com.