Singapore Air Show

Rockwell Collins Introduces MultiScan ThreatTrack Radar

 - February 12, 2014, 2:20 AM
Rockwell Collins claims its new MultiScan ThreatTrack weather radar delivers far more information about atmospheric threats than existing systems.

Rockwell Collins is introducing its new MultiScan ThreatTrack weather radar at this year’s Singapore Airshow. The avionics group claims the radar provides air transport aircraft with “unprecedented” atmospheric threat-assessment capabilities. During the show, the company received launch orders for the system from Singapore’s SilkAir and also from AirAsia.

The new radar, built on Rockwell Collins’ advanced MultiScan weather radar system, provides additional features to further increase flight safety and efficiency. For example, the company said, ThreatTrack goes beyond predicting hail and lightning within a thunderstorm cell to alert pilots of significant threats adjacent to a cell. If thunderstorms are growing ahead and below the aircraft, the radar’s “predictive overflight” function warns pilots if the cells will move into the aircraft’s flight path.

Among other features, MultiScan ThreatTrack also provides track-while-scan capability, which prioritizes weather threats out to 320 nm by performing dedicated horizontal and vertical scans on convective cells; predictive windshear detection, with windshear event data recording and retrieval; and geographic weather correlation, which uses a database of geographic and seasonal weather variations to provide accurate worldwide hazard information.

MultiScan ThreatTrack is also the first weather radar to feature two levels of turbulence detection–“severe” and “ride quality”–to more accurately inform pilots of the turbulence in their flight path, Rockwell Collins said. American Airlines will launch the new radar on its new fleet of Boeing 737NGs, and Rockwell Collins (Booth Q79) expects to certify the radar on the Boeing 777 in March.

“American Airlines is pleased to collaborate with Rockwell Collins on the successful certification and entry into service of MultiScan ThreatTrack,” said Capt. Brian Will, the airline’s director of airspace modernization and advanced technologies. “The system’s capabilities, including its advanced environmental threat-detection logic, will help American continue to provide the safest and most efficient operation possible.”

Rockwell Collins is also demonstrating four other cockpit systems for the first time at the Singapore show: the EVS-3000 enhanced vision system; its HeliSure flight situational awareness solutions; the 721S fixed-site VHF-UHF radio transceiver; and the Talon next-generation programmable software-defined radio.

“We are now creating for the first time a tri-band EVS that can deal with low power lighting [in the cockpit],” said Rockwell Collins senior v-p international and service solutions Colin Mahoney. “By combining this capability in an integrated package we are delivering benefits in terms of both power [consumption] and heads up [visibility for pilots].” Embraer’s Legacy business jet is the launch application for EVS-3000.

According to Mahoney, HeliSure will greatly improve situational awareness for helicopter pilots. “Crews need as much visualization as they can get and this even more important for helicopters than for fixed wing aircraft, and especially when operating in conditions with sand and dust,” he explained. The new system is being introduced on AgustaWestland’s new AW169 rotorcraft.

The Talon software-defined radio has been developed by the U.S. company specifically for export markets. Based on a common core, the equipment allows operators to develop sovereign waveform capability. “Many countries want to define their own encryption waveforms so they need to be able to do that without being constrained by [U.S.] export control restrictions,” said Mahoney.