First-time Heli-Expo exhibitor Archangel Systems is demonstrating tiny FAA-approved attitude heading reference systems (AHRS) designed for helicopter avionics upgrades at Booth No. N5532. The company also announced a major win yesterday, the selection of its AHR150A ADAHRS by MD Helicopters for the OEM’s new Universal Avionics integrated flight deck in the MD Explorer. “This is a brand new integrated cockpit system, and this is a first for Archangel,” said CEO Michael Greene.
“This is the first time [we] have a booth and we’re really excited,” said William Dillard, Archangel director of emerging technology. “Last year we walked the show. We said, ‘Let’s go this year and do it even bigger.’ We wanted to have a place where we can sit down and have meetings. The helicopter market is our biggest market by far today.”
Archangel also manufactures AHRS with air data inputs, such as the AHR150A and AHR300A air data attitude heading reference systems (ADAHRS). Archangel’s AHR50 AHRS received FAA TSO approval on January 31. The AHR50 is designed to be embeddable in larger systems, according to Dillard, and features the same inertial sensor and magnetometer and DO178B Level A software as the AHR150. “We’re one of the few suppliers of very small AHRS solutions that have Level A software,” he said. “We see it as a possible solution in the [unmanned aerial systems] arena,” The AHR50 is the “most compact Level A AHRS in the marketplace,” added Greene.
Archangel’s AHR50 and other products use off-the-shelf micro-electrical-mechanical systems (MEMS) to provide attitude data. MEMS-based sensors deliver performance as good as lower-end fiber-optic gyroscope-based inertial reference systems, according to Dillard. By combining the MEMS sensor data with GPS data, he said, “we’ll see higher-level performance. And with the MEMS approach we hit a nice price point.” Archangel has also developed the AHR800 ADHARS, which can operate in supersonic aircraft at calibrated airspeeds up to 850 knots and up to 55,000 feet.
The AHR50 measures just 2.5 by 2.0 by 1.4 inches and weighs 75 grams. As a standalone inertial measurement unit, the AHR50 provides “body and inertial angles and rates with a maximum gyro rate of plus or minus 150 degrees per second and ceiling of 52,000 feet. The AHR50 connected to Archangel’s AHR150A-2-A magnetic sensing unit delivers complete AHRS capability with attitude and heading output data, according to Archangel.