October 15, 2010
By Thomas A. Horne
Honeywell has announced that it is in the development phase of a program to give its primary flight displays (PFDs) a “picture-in-picture” view of the environment ahead. This initiative began with Honeywell’s SmartView synthetic vision technology, which was certified in 2007. SmartView uses a huge, worldwide GPS terrain, airport, runway, and obstacle database to generate a three-dimensional view of the nearby geography on the PFD.
To this, Honeywell has added forward-looking infrared (FLIR) technology. A nose-mounted Kollsman infrared camera feeds imagery to the cockpit, where it’s superimposed on the PFD. At altitude, the infrared imagery is centered within the PFD view, on the area surrounding the flight-path and flight-director symbology. As the airplane descends to the runway, the infrared imagery expands to nearly the full PFD dimensions. The airspeed and altitude vertical tapes are still in view, however, as are informational cues. Infrared (IR) technology like this can “see” in nighttime, is able to observe clouds and cloud layers at night, and can, under some conditions, penetrate fog and see through precipitation.
Unlike other infrared displays that use black and white renditions, Honeywell has boosted the texture and realism of the integrated IR view by colorizing the terrain. The result is real-time awareness of the airport environment, including other aircraft, vehicles, and wildlife. Moreover, the IR superimposition validates the synthetic-terrain view.
Honeywell’s ultimate goal is to earn certification credit for flying its SVS/integrated IR system to lower landing and takeoff minima.
AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Tom Horne has worked at AOPA since the early 1980s. He began flying in 1975 and has an airline transport pilot and flight instructor certificates. He’s flown everything from ultralights to Gulfstreams and ferried numerous piston airplanes across the Atlantic.
A new FAA policy on obstructive sleep apnea that addresses many of the concerns raised by AOPA is scheduled to take effect March 2.
AOPA and the National Business Aviation Association have jointly filed an amicus, or friend of the court, brief in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals as part of the ongoing legal battle over the future of Santa Monica Municipal Airport.
AOPA worked with the flight training industry and FAA to quickly resolve a problem that suddenly put many rating applications on hold.
VOLUNTEER AT AN AOPA FLY-IN NEAR YOU!
SHARE YOUR PASSION. VOLUNTEER AT AN AOPA FLY-IN. CLICK TO LEARN MORE >>>
VOLUNTEER LOCALLY AT AOPA FLY-IN! CLICK TO LEARN MORE >>>
BE A PART OF THE FLY-IN VOLUNTEER CREW! CLICK TO LEARN MORE >>>