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Aircrafts ‘beat' weather conditions

The effects of weather conditions on flights' schedule and safety can now be overridden, employing an Enhanced and Synthetic Vision System, increasing the competitiveness and safety of airline companies.

Digital Economy

Adverse weather conditions are frequently responsible for flight delays and cancellations, resulting in financial penalty for the airlines, or even jeopardising flight safety, particularly during arrival and departure. In this framework, the AWARD project employed emerging technologies for the safe transport of aircrafts in poor weather conditions, without the installation and maintenance of costly and complex equipment. Enhanced and Synthetic Vision Systems (EVS, SVS) have been developed to provide the crew with a visual perception of the external world (video image), with guidance indication (symbology). EVS is based on true imagery, with the fusion of sensors and database, whereas SVS on the combination of precise positioning of the aircraft and database, synthetic imagery. Both the EVS and SVS concepts were evaluated, with different implementations, in terms of performance, reliability, integrity and human acceptability. The EVS demonstration comprised of two flight test campaigns on a research aircraft, whereas the SVS was performed in a moving base full-flight simulator. Both systems were accepted by test pilots, were regarded to have a great operational interest and future systems could ensure compliance with existing regulations. Two different systems are foreseen for the EVS, with different operational interest. In the short-term, as major systems are available (HUD, FLIR, processing unit), a 2 FLIR sensor based system can be employed, to complement guidance through Differential Global Position Systems, in poor visibility conditions. Fog penetration range can also be improved in the future investigations into SVS, targeted confirmation of the potential of the system to fly in Cat III conditions (Instrument Landing, Category III poor visibility). Improvements to the landing performance could even achieve confirmation to current regulations. Regarding safety, it proved that specific system designs allow malfunctions' detection in the graphic generation process, within a few frames, which will ensure compliance with safety regulations, in the future. Useful links: Finnish flight simulation web magazine at http://www.koti.mbnet.fi/~abentley/cat3/ Also aviation glossary at http://www.aopa.ch/xgloss.htm

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