Avionics News October 2019 - 54

AN AVIONICS ODYSSEY
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be restrictions on what avionics manufacturers can do because of
regulations. There always have been and always will be.
Stewart: Both will drive major changes. Technology
advancements in the areas of increasing processing power, larger
memory storage and faster connectivity will improve the way
we deal with the data that's available to the pilot. Improved
usage of big data by data scientists via data analytics should
improve many of the current operational issues like predicting
failures to reduce the number of unscheduled maintenance
events. Regulatory mandates should drive increased air
management efficiency and safety.
Yahav: I believe technology advancements will be the
locomotive to pull regulations forward. Early adopters will
have to provide tangible improvements in safety and show a
significant business case - all will follow and be supported
by regulation changes. I believe the regulatory agencies will
prefer to positively incentivize those who adopt state-of-the-art
technology rather than mandating it.

Avionics News: What impact do you see urban transports
and UAVs having on the avionics industry?
Schwinn: I think it will be the on-demand mobility segment.
With regard to avionics in these things, I think it will be a
combination of reasonably traditional capabilities - VHF comm and
GPS - along with some new novel stuff - stability control, power
management, things like that. I think this segment will be the next
big boon on the avionics OEM side.
Commercial UAV service in the NAS will move quickly over
the next 10 years. Again, I see the need for avionics as being less
traditional, but you will still need basic capabilities. One thing we
do need is some kind of unified surveillance plan for UAVs that
has to appear. What is the UAV avoiding the airplane scheme? It's
completely unknown right now. It may be that UAVs always have
to get out of the way of airplanes - but they will need to sense the
airplane - maybe it's some kind of ADS-B. Or maybe it's specific
airspace or routes. I think that's going to happen quickly.
Carrico: Commercial UAS and UAM platforms may enable
innovative new modes of transportation and technologies that
complement existing intercity air transportation and extend
the benefits of the "third dimension" (altitude) to intracity
transportation. Along with that comes new approaches to evaluating
the safety case for routine civil airspace access.
We currently support the performance-based evaluation of our
commercial UAS and UAM customers with our proven, highperformance avionics solutions, as well as new applications of our
capabilities such as our prototype command non-payload control
datalinks, our ground-based certified FMS and control displays, and
WebUAS operations management tools.
54

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2019

Stone: We're in a hype cycle right now with these new
airborne urban vehicles. It's been dreamed about for 75 years or
so, and something may well come of it this time. Look at the hype
around the air taxi/VLJs that happened some 15 years ago. It may
not have been "successful," but the hype around it pushed an awful
lot of technologies and there were a lot of beneficiaries from those
new technologies.
So no matter how the UAV/urban mobility programs work
out, there is going to be a lot of money and brainpower spent on
addressing very challenging issues that will bring all kinds of
benefits to other segments of aviation.
Stewart: As the number of vehicles increase, especially
within urban areas, the monitoring and communication with
them will have to go more digital to handle the increase. This
will have an impact on the communications technologies within
the cockpit. Also, with the increase in vehicles, there will be an
additional demand for pilots or a push for more automation. There
are many discussions about the pilot not needing as much training
to operate these urban mobility vehicles, so this will also push the
avionics to be more simplified to enable the path to full automation.

Avionics News: How will avionics advancements help
shape the design of next-generation aircraft?
Schwinn: Well, again the No. 1 thing for airplanes is going to
be around new control systems. I think in new light airplanes, you
will see new improved control systems - this is the way to get the
accident rate way down. You've got envelope protection systems
out there like ours that right now are sort of benign. But I think as
time goes on, pilots and manufacturers will be more comfortable
with automated systems that will be designed to prevent you from
doing something dumb with the airplane.
Because safety is, rightfully so, such a huge issue, if you build a
safer airplane, people will buy it.
With ODM and UAVs, you are going to see automated control
systems that help things fly that you don't think can fly - although it
may happen slowly.
Carrico: We've been doing extensive research with NASA on
their unmanned traffic management program to develop and certify
a command and control data link that ensures the ability to control
UAVs in civil airspace.
We're also developing a next-generation vehicle management
computer that will provide 20 times the processing power of
existing flight control computers, which will enable fly-by-wire and
autonomous flight capabilities.
Stone: It's hard to say at this point. Whether it's for urban
mobility, or UAVs, or just aircraft in general, there's a big push for
sustainable energy - electric or hybrids. Traditionally, you don't
have much avionics integration in powerplants. But if you are
getting into electric power/hybrid power, it takes a lot more avionics
to manage and monitor those types of systems.
Based on what comes out of this urban mobility hype cycle, a



Avionics News October 2019

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