Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Best of Show, New Products 2007

Welcome to Wired!

Well June was certainly a busy month for the entire Industry from DoD procurements to the final emergence of all US 121 Operators from the depression of bankruptcy concluding with the biggest dance of the year, the Paris Air Show. On behalf of ASIG I'm pleased to report that we had a great month in both production and engineering operations and our client list is continuing to grow (as is our staff, welcome to Shawn & Paul).

In this edition of Wired we've decided to back off of the business of business and our evaluation of case studies and focus on some of the new avionics & IFE products that have really caught our attention over the last year. Among the OEMs represented at this year's Avionics Maintenance Conference (AMC), Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) conference and the 50th Aircraft Electronics Association (AEA) Convention & Tradeshow a few products seem to stand out to both ASIG and our industry peers. These products add capability, functionality, increase reliability and reduce pilot workload while increasing situational awareness for the crew. Although there were many accolades to be had this is a list of ASIG's Top Five, also known as our Best in Show.

Item 1: DAC International GEN-X Electronic Flight Bag
DAC introduced the new GEN-X EFB and touch-screen display at this year's AEA. The system is comprised of a remote processor unit (RPU) that has been specifically engineered and ruggedized for aviation applications, including the integration of pressurized sealed hard drives. These drives are tested beyond current Part 25 G-force requirements which ensure that inclement weather and hard landings by those cargo haulers won’t affect system performance. The unit also includes an auto-off feature in case the crew leaves the power on after the flight.
The display is a thing of beauty. It is a touch-screen hardened tot he elements and designed for today’s rugged cockpit environment, including crew meals, coffee and water when the pilot leaves the window cracked to perform his ground checks. It is a bright, very bright, high-contrast sunlight-readable unit which is the primary control and system I/O.
When integrated with the aircraft FMS (as intended by the developer) airport and route plates are automatically loaded into the EFB.
The unit meets AC 120-76A, Class 2B/3B (installation dependent); DO-160 and uses a WinXP OS with a DO-178 monitoring shell.

Item 2: L-3 Com Avionics Systems IRIS
The IRIS is an Infrared Imaging System used to provide pilots with a real-time, B/W 320 x 240 pixel images in the cockpit by detecting subtle variations in temperature. These variations are converted to video imagery and can be displayed on cockpit displays capable of video resolutions.
The IRIS camera is mounted in a small fiberglass faring in the nose of the aircraft, allowing pilots an optimal field-of-view when on approach for both long range and close targets and obstructions.

Item 3: UASC WAAS Enables Super FMS Family
Universal Avionics made public their release of the UNS-1Xw line of WAAS capable FMS units. These units are ready for FAA published WAAS/LPV approaches to minimums as low as 200 feet and ½ mile, along with non-precision and LNAV/VNAV approaches, oceanic, enroute, departure and arrival procedures. They also include an integrated SBAS receiver compatible with EGNOS (in Europe) and MSAS (in Japan) and other potential NAV standards developed in accordance with RTCA DC-229.
By far the Universal product line remains on ASIG’s Best in Show list as an integrator preferred manufacturer for both integration development and post-installation operational reliability.

Item 4: EMS Satcom CNX-300 MAR
The CNX 300 is the latest addition to the EMS line of CMX Cabin Gateways and the first to feature a full function Cisco router to the aviation community. This allows integrators and maintenance technicians to better meet the IT needs of customer who want a seamless access to internet based resources.
The CNX-300 MAR includes all the standard fare including Ethernet, Wi-Fi, hub and terminal adapter with the Cisco 3200 TCP/IP router and Cisco IOS software, which helps the make the configuration much easier and faster for the installer.
The system works with Inmarsat Swift 64 and future SwiftBroad networks and can provide users with secure voice, data and video communications; even when dynamic routing, VPN tunneling and AES encryption are required.

Item 5: Rosen Aviation 24” High-Def Widescreen Cabin Display
I already know what you’re thinking, “what self-respecting avionics integrator dabbles with IFE.” To be honest cabin displays are quickly becoming system I/O devices that interact with onboard CNS/ATM systems, albeit peripherally and statically. However, our interest stems from countless hours of watching Blade Runner.
At any rate the large 24” display yields the absolute best picture we’ve ever seen in a cabin IFE with a 1920 x 1080 resolution. And integration design limitations are mitigated by the unit’s shy 15 pound weight. This makes fitting the unit easy and less bulky compared to even smaller non-HD displays. All the standard connections are available including DVI/HDMI, composite, component and RGB and can accomodate both HD-DVD & BlueRay formats. Our question, can it handle our XBOX360?

These products are exciting, functional and well priced per unit and when integrating new. They allow for increased performance and superior reliability when contrast against legacy products currently in use. Their expanded functionality elevate both safety in terms of available sensory inputs to the flightdeck and the travel experience by giving clients connectivity and exceptional video quality. We at ASIG look forward to our planned and pending projects featuring these units. Should any of our readership have additional feedback, please don't hesitate to post your thoughts.

Until next time stay 5x5, Mission Ready & Wired!
To learn more about our approach to aircraft modernization or the products and services available from Avionics & Systems Integration Group (ASIG), please visit us online at http://www.asigllc.com/, via email at info@asigllc.com, or contact us direct at 866.890.ASIG [2744].