Air Transport World

Toward integrating safety: AlliedSignal is working to put a number of its systems into a single box to cut costs and make the skies safer. (AlliedSignal Aerospace's Commercial Avionics Systems)(includes related article on the unit's growth prospects)

Redmond, Wash.--As integration of the corporate components that constitute the Commercial Avionics Systems sector of AlliedSignal Aerospace into a coherent business structure nears completion, the company is starting to integrate key aircraft safety systems into a single cross-communicating package.

Development of the Integrated Hazard Avoidance System (IHAS) is in the "very, very early stages," verging on "complete vaporware. But the technology is there," says Howard Glover, AlliedSignal research fellow. A key component of IHAS would be the new Enhanced Group Proximity Warning System. More on that later.

The idea of putting a GPWS, Mode S transponder, windshear detecting weather radar and TCAS into a single cabinet has generated "a lot of OEM interest," he says.

From an evolutionary point of view, such a combination makes sense in light of the increasing integration of avionics, as in Boeing's 777 AIMS construction, i.e., creating a smaller, lighter, less power-hungry unit.

But from a safety point of view, the combination creates a more valuable package, using "smart" alerting, sharing information between components to give a greater degree of protection.

Further, IHAS is a waypoint in the natural progression toward developing a "full up" Enhanced Situational Awareness System, in which IHAS is further integrated with systems that detect ice, clear-air turbulence, wake vortices and volcanic ash, plus radar position correlation, advanced imaging sensors and head-up displays to give pilots a comprehensive, integrated view of the hazards around the airplane, combined with aids to navigation and landing. …

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