AEA Pilot's Guide 2020-2021 - 63

Luster: I think technology will move away from the
standard panel-mount systems to open-up the aircraft and
become smaller and more portable. I believe avionics will
still require standards such as MOPs and MELs, but why
should this be limited to panel-mounted, installed systems?
What does this mean for avionics shops in the future? Will
long wiring harnesses be a relic in 2030? Again, smaller
and more efficient systems will be the future, and if we
really want to leap forward, this will be it.
Stewart: Advancements will allow aircraft to be fully
monitored with predictive maintenance and reduced time
for maintenance and diagnostics. Avionics will be able to
see a complete view of the aircraft status and relay that
status to the ground. This can be used for ordering parts
ahead of time, alerting to potential issues, or to have a
ground operator provide "help assistance" if needed by the
pilot. Aircraft will be designed with a single pilot in mind. 
Also, fewer "boxes" will be required to do the same
functionality, and as discussed before, some features can
be offboarded to be performed in the cloud. 
Fly-by-wire will allow aircraft to become more
aerodynamic with the system providing stability and
allowing automatic landings at airports without CAT 3B
facilities.
Yahav: We will see less federated hardware and more
integrated modular avionics computers, more head-up
displays and sensors that will replace down displays and
crowded cockpits, and automatic landing will be based on
sensors installed on board rather than ground infrastructure,
which will require different operation and training.

Avionics News: What do you see as the next
decade's biggest challenge?
Schwinn: The regulatory environment. There hasn't
been any one thing that has been a big issue. It's subtle,
but the regulatory environment as a whole has gotten
much, much tougher over the past 20 years.
Today, a TSO reference document is 500 pages long
- that's a big deal. There are requirements for everything
under the sun - that's a challenge going forward. The
ASTM process revision is an attempt to go in the other
direction, which I think is great. But regulatory creep is a
big challenge.
Carrico: I think one of the hurdles we are seeing now
and will likely continue to see for some years is a pilot
shortage within the commercial aviation industry. We also
see the growing interest in autonomous systems to lessen
pilot workload as a solution for it.
This will impact avionics to provide new sensors,
computing platforms, and system architectures that can
safely implement more intelligent systems in safety-critical

applications. The development, test, and certification
standards for these new intelligent systems challenge
current approaches to assure the safety of complex
systems and will keep both designers and regulators busy
well into the next decade.
Stone: There are always technical and regulatory
challenges, and I think some of them will be within our
grasp to manage and some are a little further out there.
One of the key technical challenges for electric-powered
aircraft is energy density and power storage systems -
that's a huge challenge to move forward on. I don't think
aviation is big enough to do it alone. But other markets
are, so the pace of technological growth is fast right now,
but not fast enough for most of us. Those are technical
challenges.
Then, of course, are the regulatory challenges - when
you introduce something new, especially if there is not
an established method of compliance from a certification
standpoint, that's always an added challenge. The added
scrutiny is appropriately valid in most cases, and they have
to be worked through.
Luster: In my experience, it's great to come up with all
kinds of new technologies and capabilities, but unless we
have the regulatory infrastructure in place that allows all
that to be put to good use, it's not going to go anywhere.
The FAA has to not only catch-up with technology but
take a leadership position, and it has not proven to be good
at that. Look at how long it took to make the final decision
on ADS-B and how to implement it.
The urban mobility industry is talking about wanting
to get air taxis going by 2025, and there's no way the
infrastructure will be there in time for that. What will the FAA
allow and not allow? Unfortunately, accidents will happen.
What will be the pain point to put a stop to things?
I appreciate the lofty goals, but I just don't see how it will
be possible to get it all done that fast.
Stewart: In order to fully realize the advantage
of technology, it will be necessary to certify artificial
intelligence and machine learning. The path to this isn't
currently understood and will need to be worked out by
industry and certification authorities. 
Cybersecurity will also become a critical issue with
increased connectivity. It will be necessary to have
architectures and features that prevent cyber intrusions and
also allow simple updates to be pushed without having to
fully certify the complete avionics functions.
Yahav: I believe the consolidations in the aerospace
industry will put too much power in the hands of tier-one
avionics suppliers, which will result in a lack of innovation
and high pricing. q

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AEA Pilot's Guide 2020-2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of AEA Pilot's Guide 2020-2021

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AEA Pilot's Guide 2020-2021 - Cover3
AEA Pilot's Guide 2020-2021 - Cover4
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