Avionics Design – March 2016                               
March 2016

The Avionics Design monthly E-newsletter from the editorial staff of mil-embedded.com covers hardware and software avionics designs and certification issues in the commercial and military avionics markets in the U.S. and Europe via the Military Embedded Systems partnership with Aviation Maintenance magazine and the Aviation Electronics Europe show.

In partnership with:
Aviation Electronics Europe





Military helicopter avionics upgrades embrace COTS, FACE
Military helicopter avionics upgrades embrace COTS, FACE

Many military helicopter avionics upgrades are currently underway to enhance communications and situational awareness, leveraging the Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE) standard and supporting integration of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) software and hardware. Meanwhile, avionics designers are also addressing cybersecurity concerns in modern aircraft cockpits.


UAS lack stringent certification process
UAS lack stringent certification process

All types of unmanned aircraft systems (UASs) are popping into the national airspace, resulting in increasing numbers of accidents and near misses. Safety incidents are getting more frequent with military unmanned aircraft as well.


Motor control in
Motor control in "more electric" aircraft

Aircraft batteries are too often taken for granted. That is, until a plane loses electrical power far from home and has to switch to its emergency back-up system. Fortunately the prevailing nickel cadmium and lead acid battery technologies are well understood, while evolving lithium chemistries are becoming more acceptable as proper safeguards are applied.


Power sources charge ahead
Power sources charge ahead

Aircraft batteries are too often taken for granted. That is, until a plane loses electrical power far from home and has to switch to its emergency back-up system. Fortunately the prevailing nickel cadmium and lead acid battery technologies are well understood, while evolving lithium chemistries are becoming more acceptable as proper safeguards are applied. Battery technology continues to improve and batteries last longer.



Can Batteries Be Maintenance Free?
Can Batteries Be Maintenance Free?

Well, perhaps not totally so. However, one manufacturer is applying a chemistry and design that takes battery operation a step closer to a maintenance-free goal.


Avionics FACE lift
Avionics FACE lift

Software portability has long been a goal of military procurement officials. Think of all the money that could be saved if each new software project did not have to start from scratch and if modules could be integrated more quickly and less expensively. Hardware - within a wide range of performance options - is roughly interchangeable, so why not software? Until recently, however, their reach exceeded their grasp.


Selecting a rugged LCD display
Selecting a rugged LCD display

Designers of liquid crystal display (LCD) systems should understand a number of important technical features before selecting a rugged LCD display for their platform. These options include environmental protection, LCD temperature and reliability, and screen reflection.


Drones in Maintenance: The New Frontier
Drones in Maintenance: The New Frontier

After a flurry of activity at the end of 2015 and the beginning of 2016, the U.S. finds itself in the midst of an emerging (if slowly) regulatory regime governing the use of unmanned aircraft systems. As the FAA works through integrating UAS into the National Airspace System (NAS), a regime is beginning to emerge that gives UAS operators a better idea of what is expected of them to remain compliant.


The Wright Brothers
The Wright Brothers

I read a lot and most books, while I enjoy them, don't capture my imagination or inspire awe about the subject. Every once in a while I read a book that just blows me away. I recently read such a book. It was "The Wright Brothers" by David McCullough.


Solving the safety certification challenge for multicore?
Solving the safety certification challenge for multicore?

It's no secret that multicore systems have continued to be an attractive option for the military and aerospace fields. With the drive toward reducing the size, weight, and power (SWaP) of embedded systems, the push to rely on multicore systems continues.


Remembering the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion
Remembering the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion

Televisions were rolled into classrooms at our high school when the news spread about the crash of the Challenger Space Shuttle. We watched the coverage all day, the launch, the explosion, and President Reagan's speech. Seeing the pictures of Christa McAulliffe on the news commemorating the 30th year anniversary of her death along with 6 NASA astronauts when their spacecraft disintegrated moments after liftoff, brought it all back.



NextGen funding in FAA's FY 2017 budget request
NextGen funding in FAA's FY 2017 budget request

The Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 budget request for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is $15.9 billion, slightly less than the FY2016 enacted total of $16.3 billion. The entire FY 2017 Next Generation Air Traffic Management System (NextGen) effort totals $1.0 billion, a 2 percent increase over the FY2016 enacted total.






DoD FY 2017 aircraft procurement and modernization
DoD FY 2017 aircraft procurement and modernization

Funding slated for major aircraft and related systems totals $45.3 billion under the Department of Defense (DoD) Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 acquisition funding request, which totals $183.9 billion.


Helicopter synthetic vision integration and testing continued by Honeywell
Helicopter synthetic vision integration and testing continued by Honeywell

In a contract with DARPA engineers at Honeywell will continue to improve three-dimensional visibility and safety for U.S. military helicopter pilots experiencing inclement weather and harsh environments.


Long Range Strike Bomber, B-21, concept unveiled by Air Force
Long Range Strike Bomber, B-21, concept unveiled by Air Force

Air Force officials announced the first images of the Long Range Strike Bomber (LRSB), also known as the B-21 at the Air Force Association's (AFA's) Air Warfare Symposium this month in Orlando, Florida.


NextGen, SESAR, ADS-B tech highlight agenda at Aviation Electronics Europe
NextGen, SESAR, ADS-B tech highlight agenda at Aviation Electronics Europe

Sessions on SESAR, the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA'S) NextGen initiative, and ADS-B technology highlight the first day of the Aviation Electronics Europe conference and exhibition to be held April 20-21 in Munich, Germany at the MOC Event Center.


NASA supersonic passenger aircraft contract won by Lockheed Martin
NASA supersonic passenger aircraft contract won by Lockheed Martin

NASA officials are looking to bring back the days of supersonic air travel for commercial passengers, announcing this week a contract award for the preliminary design of a "low boom" flight demonstration aircraft. It will be the first in a series of 'X-planes' in NASA's New Aviation Horizons initiative.


UAS demonstrate collision avoidance and speed in DARPA FLA program
UAS demonstrate collision avoidance and speed in DARPA FLA program

DARPA engineers completed the first flight data collection with the common quadcopter UAS platform for the Fast Lightweight Autonomy (FLA) program at Otis Air National Guard Base in Massachusetts. The quadcopters were able to edge their way around obstacles and achieve target speeds of 20 meters per second.




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