Avionics News October 2019 - 60

WEARABLE MAGIC

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announced in October 2018, and the company tells us it soon
will enter service aboard an ATR regional turboprop. Both the
HUD and the HWD overlay the EVS/SVS video with detailed
flight information and may be used with Universal's new
interactive FMS software, ClearVision i-FMS.
Universal's i-FMS features highly modular architecture
ready for deployment to any ARINC 653-compliant platform
and "allows customers to run the application in many thirdparty options to best suit their flight deck, with no need
for specific hardware," according to the company. "The
HMI, implemented with an ARINC 661 user application,
connects to the core operating system and allows pilots to
communicate with the application," Universal added, noting,
"Since the system is modular, customers may specify future
functionalities, allowing for easy adaptation to address
upcoming requirements." The i-FMS offers support for a
third-party HMI, and customers may integrate proprietary
functions through interfaces to the core operating system or by
customization.
Both the Universal HUD and its SkyLens HWD also
incorporate head/eye tracking technology, allowing the system
to "know" in which direction the pilot is looking. In other
words, the user doesn't have to reach out and turn a knob or
push a button to tell the automation to "focus on what I'm
looking at" or "show me the next fix in this direction." That's
one element of why Universal labels its ClearVision i-FMS
as interactive. The other element is a yoke-, stick- or throttlemounted button dedicated to selecting/deselecting options the
i-FMS may present to the user through the HUD or HWD.
Universal calls this capability "fly-by-sight," pointing out
that "the i-FMS tackles one of the main challenges pilots face
today with FMS operations; the need to propose changes to
the FMS during critical phases of flight such as takeoff and
landing."
Put another way, the latest cockpit technology once again is
leveraging changes in the human-machine interface, this time
allowing the human to manage the machine almost with the
flick of an eye.
Universal rolled out the i-FMS addition to its ClearVision
product line at the 2019 Paris Air Show in June. Since then,
the company tells Avionics News, "Market reception has
been very good so far, and we anticipate launching customerrelated activities in the near to medium term." This includes
discussions with avionics manufacturers on incorporating
ClearVision i-FMS into their products. "These discussions are
progressing well," the company told us, "and we anticipate
agreements to be reached in due course."
Universal Avionics is known for its ability to develop
60

avionics news

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october

2019

Dror Yahav (right) became chief executive officer of Universal
Avionics in April 2019. He replaced Paul DeHerrera, who
retired after 25 years of service with the company.

products that work and play well with those from other
manufacturers. So it shouldn't be a surprise to learn
ClearVision i-FMS - as with the other ClearVision FMS
software offerings - is designed to work with different
hardware platforms, not just Universal's. For example, "The
i-FMS software can run on a variety of hardware options
- for commercial and paramilitary applications. It really is
not specifically tailored to our head-up or head-wearable
displays," the company said.
While it's negotiating agreements with third-party avionics,
Universal is emphasizing the i-FMS's portability and how
many in-service aircraft are already equipped for it. "Our
product lines are already able to host the i-FMS or will be
adapted to do so at their next block point upgrades," the
company told us. "The developmental version of i-FMS has
been ported to a similar processing and operating system
environment to the computers hosting our ClearVision."
The ClearVision i-FMS roll-out comes at a busy time for
Universal Avionics. In April 2018, the company was acquired
by defense electronics firm Elbit Systems Ltd. Among its
other product lines, Elbit is well known for military-grade
electronic systems deployed on land, sea and in the air,
including a joint venture between the Israel-based company's
U.S. operation, Elbit Systems of America LLC, and Rockwell
Collins. The Rockwell Collins ESA Vision Systems, LLC
joint venture produces the Gen III Helmet Mounted Display
System for Lockheed Martin's F-35 Lightning II multirole
combat aircraft. That technology enables the F-35 pilot to
target weapons by looking at and designating targets.
A year after Elbit's acquisition, in April 2019, Universal's
new chief executive officer, Dror Yahav, took over from
retiring Paul DeHerrera. Yahav had been with Elbit some 18
years, most recently as vice president of commercial aviation
in the company's aerospace division. In that role, the company
says he "led the introduction of innovative and award-winning



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