Avionics News October 2019 - 64

YOU CAN SEE THE LIGHT
Continued from page 63

ramp vehicle, SVS can't show it. It simply can't exist in the
database since it didn't exist for the scan.
Similarly, if an object existed for the scan, it should appear
in the SVS image, even if it's since been relocated.
Still, SVS suffers no imaging deterioration from smoke,
fog, clouds, dust and the like. If the object existed for the scan,
it should appear in the image generated by the SVS program.
Simply put, both systems come with shortcomings uniquely
their own.
The growing third option
Today, a growing number of systems exist that merge the
capabilities of both EVS and SVS to leverage a hybrid image
combining the strengths of both systems and overriding the
shortcomings of each in something new: CVS, or combined
vision system.
While not the first to tackle combining EVS and SVS,
Collins claims a first for fully merging the two technologies -
infrared enhanced vision and synthetic vision system imagery
- into a single conformal view. The system appeared first in
Bombardier's Global 5500 and Global 6500 business jets.
Better still, the Collins system plays on a cockpit head-up
display system along with the air and flight data common on
HUD systems.
Dassault and Gulfstream both offer CVS systems on their
jets. And there are others flying.
Available Options
It's here where we'll start examining the latest options for
seeing in the dark.
Some of these options exist as part of a package; others are
available as upgrades to an avionics package, while still others
are stand-alone options available for retrofit.
EVS - Seeing with a heat-sensitive eye
Astronics Max-Viz came into existence in 2001, a product
of two inventions that allowed the manufacture of a small,
lightweight sensor design for EVS usable in both commercial
and general-aviation aircraft.
The first invention: the microbolometer, an uncooled focalplane array developed by Honeywell and capable of detecting
thermal infrared radiation - without the cryogenic cooling
system needed on sensors up to that time. The microbolometer
converts the electromagnetic thermal impulses into signals for
display on a monitor.
The second invention: a patented system to fuse video
images from multiple sources developed by Dr. J. Richard
Kerr (one of the original founders of Max-Viz). This invention
enabled signals from a visible light source to be combined
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2019

with the signals from an infrared source (like the Honeywell
focal plane array mentioned above) and present a picture
effectively "turning night into day."
Max-Viz licensed the microbolometer design from
Honeywell for use in aviation and initially licensed the fusion
patent (developed by Dr. Kerr) from FLIR Systems. In 2012,
the company was acquired by Astronics Corp. as a wholly
owned subsidiary.
Astronics designed its Max-Viz EVS for turbine and piston,
fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft. Max-Viz systems use infrared
sensors, signal processing, and advanced cockpit displays to
show terrain, runways, taxiways, aircraft and obstacles in poor
visibility conditions, including light fog, haze, smoke, smog,
light precipitation and darkness all within a package that is
compact, lightweight, reliable and affordable.
Max-Viz EVS are manufactured to the same high standards
used on other systems made by AgustaWestland, Textron (Bell
Helicopter, Beechcraft, Cessna), Boeing, Bombardier, CASA,
Canadair, Cirrus, Dassault, Eurocopter, Gulfstream, Learjet,
Pilatus, Piper, Robinson Helicopter and Sikorsky Aircraft.
Max-Viz offers its sensors in a variety of sizes and
configurations suitable for installation in aircraft from the light
end of the field up through business-turbine aircraft.
Most other sensor options are available to aircraft owners
through the aircraft OEM or avionics makers. Collins, for
example, offers some that deliver both a synthetic vision
guidance system using a digital database and an enhanced flight
vision system using infrared and visible light sensors and a
HUD.
New FAA rules promulgated in 2016 have opened the
way to one of the aircraft manufacturers' most-coveted
advancement since the arrival of new EVS sensors and HUDs:
new rules making it possible for pilots flying EFVS aircraft
to land in extremely poor visibility using a HUD and EFVS
- and flying to the touchdown and roll-out completely by
guidance through the HUD, without looking outside at a realworld view wrapped in a shroud of fog.
Bombardier, Dassault, and Gulfstream have all worked to
deliver an EFVS-to-land-capable system.
Meanwhile, the new rule does mention a technology that
has been a long time coming - the so-called "combined vision
system" as one possible solution for EFVS-to-land. The 2016
rules also seem to preclude using a PFD while seeming to
require a HUD.
Another example, Dassault's FalconEye package, which
was the first to come out with a CVS and certified its version in
October 2016. Approved first in the Falcon 2000 and 900, then
the 8X in early 2017, FalconEye is en route to complying with
the new EFVS regulations around the 2020 time frame.
FalconEye is based on an Elbit HUD and EFVS camera.
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Avionics News October 2019

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