Since Gulfstream announced its new Center of Excellence for Advanced Vision Systems at the 2004 Farnborough Air Show, the business-jet manufacturer has been developing advanced vision-enhancing products that improve both pilot situational awareness and safety of flight. Working with NASA and a number of avionics manufacturers, Gulfstream’s Savannah-based Center of Excellence for Advanced Vision Systems has led the effort for the past decade in bringing new vision-enhancing products to market. On Sept. 14, 2001 , when the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certified the Gulfstream Enhanced Vision System (EVS), Gulfstream became the first business aircraft manufacturer to offer this new addition to the flight deck. EVS enables pilots to see terrain, runways and approaches that otherwise are undetectable by unaided sight. Using a specially-designed forward-looking infrared (FLIR) camera, pilots can view an infrared, real-world image on the Head-Up Display (HUD).
So effective was this new technology that in January 2004, the FAA validated the safety benefits of the Gulfstream EVS in a Part 91 rule change that allows pilots to use enhanced flight visibility to identify the runway environment and continue the approach below decision height.
Since that time, Gulfstream has embarked on a number of new programs, including EVS-II, HUD-II and Synthetic Vision – Primary Flight Display (SV-PFD).
"Our prime concern has been and continues to be the safety of passengers, flight crews and people on the ground,” said Pres Henne, senior vice president, programs, engineering and test, Gulfstream. “All of our Advanced Vision Systems programs are designed and developed to improve pilot situational awareness and safety.”
With nearly 350 Gulfstream EVS in service today, the overwhelming success of EVS technology is indisputable, according to Henne. The Gulfstream EVS is standard equipment on the G550 and G450 and is available for installation on the G500 and G350 as well as out-of-production GV and GIV-series aircraft.
Gulfstream began a thorough flight-test program for EVS-II in 2006, flying more than 75 test flights. Gulfstream expects EVSII to be certified by the FAA by the end of 2007 and ready for installation on new aircraft midyear 2008.
“EVS-II is the next logical step for our vision-enhancing products,” Henne said. “With new, smaller and lighter components and the advent of faster and more powerful processors, we were able to reduce the size and weight of the system while improving its reliability.”
The EVS-II hardware components are produced by Kollsman Inc, a leading manufacturer of avionics and electro-optic equipment. The new EVS-II is 22 pounds lighter, has four times the computational power and four times the memory than the original EVS. New to EVS-II is a new maintenance interface within the Gulfstream PlaneView ® flight deck to facilitate troubleshooting and maintenance.
Designed by Rockwell Collins, HUD-II is a Head-up Guidance System (HGS) that presents critical flight information in the pilot’s forward field of view. Compatible with EVS-II and integrated with PlaneView, HUD-II features an all-digital display that allows the pilot to see an integrated display of flight information and an infrared image from EVS-II in almost all weather conditions, thereby enhancing situational awareness and improving touchdown precision.
Modular in design, HUD-II uses liquid crystal display technology and a bright light-emitting diode (LED) backlight to display real-world images and flight symbols on the HUD Combiner.
“This is the first time we are developing an advanced Head-Up Display for our entire family of Gulfstream aircraft,” Henne commented. “This next generation image technology will support development of other advanced vision technologies as they become available.”
Commencing in 2009, HUD-II will be standard equipment on the G550 and the G450 and optional equipment on the G500, G350, G200 and G150. Developed with the future in mind, HUD-II is capable of supporting emerging technologies such as synthetic vision.
Synthetic Vision – Primary Flight Display (SV-PFD)
In July 2006, Gulfstream announced it would be the first business-jet manufacturer to offer synthetic vision technology for new and existing aircraft. Synthetic Vision – Primary Flight Display (SV-PFD) is on schedule for FAA certification before the end of 2007 and is expected to be available to customers in the second quarter of 2008.
Synthetic Vision – Primary Flight Display is a dramatic enhancement to the Gulfstream PlaneView flight displays. SV-PFD features a three-dimensional color image of terrain overlaid with the primary flight display instrument readings. With SV-PFD, instrument readings are arranged on the screen to create a large view area for terrain. Combining previously certified terrain data from Honeywell’s Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System (EGPWS) with obstacle data, and using a new state-of-the-art graphics processor, SV-PFD accurately depicts terrain, obstacles, runways and approaches at locations throughout the world.
SV-PFD includes both traditional and Head-Up Display symbology. Traditional symbols such as attitude, altitude, airspeed, bank and steering cues, flight path marker, Terrain Awareness and Warning System (TAWS) alerts and Traffic alert Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) all remain the same. The new HUD-like symbols include a flight path marker, a path-based flight director, runway outline and a runway lead-in line.
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