EVS/SVS DEVELOPMENTS

Bombardier combines RC SVS with CMC EVS to give CVS all-weather approaches

Combined Vision System adds IR to SVS to bring new level of situational awareness.


Night approach to PVU (Provo UT)’s ILS Rwy 16. (Top L) Unaided pilot view. (Top R) Global Vision System SVS-PFD view. (Bottom L) SVS on HUD. (Bottom R) EFVS on HUD. As a development aspect to SVS and EFVS on the HUD, PVU has been used as a test site because its diverse geographical features allowed Bombardier to exercise and evaluate SVS on the HUD for compatibility with the head-down display.

When used in conjunction with EFVS during low-visibility approaches, the EFVS provides the very detailed information that SVS does not have within in its database, and is of course the real-world picture. The advantage of HUD with SVS is that the pilot is back heads-up, looking out the window.

SVS terrain image now displayed on the HUD is shown as conformal, or matching the real-world “out the window” view. SVS on the HUD enables the pilot to have a more complete flight instrument package, having a clearer attitude and spatial situational view instead of just symbols showing pitch and flight guidance.

System design

With EFVS, especially at altitudes and in cloud, the pilot will most likely not see the terrain, only HUD flight symbology. But the addition of SVS perspective terrain on the HUD augments traditional attitude display and, more importantly, puts the pilot back to heads-up operation, looking out the window.

Now pitch and roll and flight guidance is being flown with respect to the terrain, and a complete picture of progress and hazards can be presented as part of the flight instrument displays. As an example, during an approach from the top of the descent, flight guidance and aircraft control and terrain are fully integrated and can be viewed on the large panoramic Rockwell Collins displays.

During the instrument approach segment, the pilot can use the HUD with SVS for the early part of the approach, and then select EFVS to see the required visual cues to continue the approach from standard minimums, even though the naked eye cannot yet see.

The SVS image on the HUD, which is the same as on the HDD, is now shown conformal, providing not only a more definitive attitude perspective, but relative location of the runway and threatening terrain. The terrain hazards and other obstacles are now within the perspective of all of the information required for the approach, not affected by the weather.

Recent flight tests conducted by Bombardier with SVS on the HUD, the first in the industry, have been conducted at PVU (Provo UT) and other places with diverse terrain features. The objectives of the early tests are to validate SVS on the HUD for display features, conformal or image registration and phasing of SVS and EFVS.

Tests like those at PVU’s ILS to Rwy 16, the mountain range and large lake area provided contrasting features that allowed for complex SVS viewing. Bombardier pilots report is the immediate value of SVS on the HUD—complete confidence in knowledge of your location in flight with respect to the terrain and during any type of instrument approach.

Test program

Sarah Barber is Rockwell Collins senior systems engineer and an SVS pioneer.

Bombardier’s ICT (Mid-Continent, Wichita KS)-based Flight Test Center is also where the company’s system integration test station for Global Vision is situated and where the new cockpit is being tested. Three test aircraft, including a Global 5000 and 2 Global XRSs, are being used, with test flights with Transport Canada officials currently under way.

FAA will begin certification flights in 4Q2010 for the baseline Global Vision system, and continue into 2011 for the final elements of EFVS and SVS. Bombardier has also dedicated an aircraft for strategic test and development for HUD, EFVS, SVS and fusion work.

This aircraft will include the latest Rockwell Collins LCD HUD and the new CMC Elec­tronics EFVS sensor—the CMA 2700. This was designed with higher resolution and advanced processing, and will be integrated with the SVS by pilot selection. Ultimately Bombardier plans to reach a fully capable EVO based on the technology that is being introduced in the Global Vision Flight Deck for ap­proach and landing credits worldwide.

For Bombardier the ultimate game plan is to offer a significant leap in operational capability of its basic flightdecks, and to accomplish this with the support of Transport Canada, FAA and EASA. The Global Vision program is really to change the everyday challenges of corporate aviation, with safe operation to a seamless vision-based world.

In 2004 FAA agreed on the operational use of EFVS to enable a pilot to see and proceed from the standard MDA/DA DH to 100 ft using a HUD and EFVS. EASA followed suit in 2008. FAA also tasked industry, through RTCA’s Special Committee 213, to develop new system and equipment standards for EFVS, SVS and CVS technology.

Bombardier is a major player in this industrywide development and in the work of the committee. FAA’s goal is to establish industry standards for vision systems to operate in all phases of flight in zero/zero visibility. FAA also recently announced operational exemptions to FedEx for 1000 ft RVR—the first Part 121 carrier with EFVS.

The new operation will allow a FedEx equipped aircraft and trained crew to begin the approach in visibilities (to the human) as low as 1000 ft RVR, and at the standard minimums, if the pilot sees with EFVS, continue to 100 ft where visual transition is required.

NetJets was also granted this same operational exemption, providing a new improvement to EFVS operations in corporate aviation. Now system requirements for landing an aircraft based on EFVS and HUD in 1000 ft RVR have also been defined by industry and FAA. The new FAA move for landing with 1000 ft RVR, an operational capability that Bombardier plans on achieving soon, eliminates the 100 ft visual transition requirement—you land with EFVS on the HUD.

This is new and this is big, and the Global Vision Flight Deck is focused on this goal. Bombardier also plans to obtain operational credit for SVS for some portion of the instrument segment, and with EFVS obtain the new 1000 ft RVR landing credit being planned by FAA for Cat I facilities. The application of SVS for operational credit is thought to be achievable by the time of service entry in 2011.

A buyer’s perspective

The late 1920s were a time of deep economic depression. This was also a period when some of aviation’s greatest advances were made. Bombardier’s view of the world is that transportation is going to be a key element to all parts of human advancement, and so they are unabashedly advancing with products that are changing the face of corporate aviation. Bombardier is now the first OEM to use HUD technology and SVS together.

For the engineers and pilots who are pioneering these advances, Global Vision is the future.

Glenn Connor is the president of Discover Technology Intl and is a researcher and pilot specializing in the development of enhanced vision systems and advanced avionics.

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