Farnborough Air Show

Thales Future Cockpit Brings New Ideas

 - July 11, 2012, 5:55 AM

Thales (Chalet S1) is here exhibiting its future cockpit concept: Odicis (one display for a cockpit interactive solution) with additional functions. Engineers have endeavored to make ground and air segments work together seamlessly in next-generation air traffic management (ATM) systems such as the Single European Sky and U.S. NextGen. The philosophy of Odicis is to have more information displayed and still make the crew’s job easier.

Newly added has been an “initial 4-D trajectory” (I4D) feature. The system allows flight crews to tell controllers exactly when they will arrive at a specified destination right down to the time the aircraft will arrive at the gate. The Odicis demonstrator will replay the flight trial that took place in February 2012.

It also incorporates a “digital taxi” (D-Taxi) feature that uplinks the cleared taxi route and depicts it to the pilot on a display. The data link is a CPDLC (controller pilot data link communication).

The third system recently added is for airborne separation assistance (ASAS). It helps create a regular traffic flow. It ensures “an aircraft adjusts its speed so that it can keep its spacing relative to another aircraft.” Finally, “Eco Take-Off” optimizes takeoff and climb profile, trying to strike a balance between carbon dioxide emissions and noise mitigation.

With next-generation ATM, a “host of new information will need to be displayed,” Thales emphasized. This increases the amount of data the crew will need to handle. With Odicis, Thales claims to display “all relevant information in a simpler and clearer fashion on a larger and more legible display.” This is supposed to ease workload and complexity.

Odicis features touchscreens on a continuous display that covers the entire instrument panel and pedestal. This allows Thales to promise a “simpler and more instinctive human-system interface allowing the pilot to focus on flying the aircraft.”

With Air France 447 crash investigators having just reminded the industry about how critical interfaces and flying skills are, Thales’ new ideas could be timely.