Less Costly EVS Sensors on the Way?

 - September 15, 2006, 5:45 AM

Speaking at an Embry-Riddle seminar on the future of aviation maintenance in late May, an engineer for L-3 Avionics Systems seemed to indicate the company is conducting research into a new type of enhanced-vision system (EVS) that could sell for a fraction of the price of current cooled and uncooled sensor technology.

“What’s coming next is called an uncooled BST, or barium strontium titanate, and that technology is very, very inexpensive,” said L-3 field service engineer William Tramper in describing one promising new EVS technology. “We’re expecting to be able to offer an enhanced-vision system for a Lancair or Columbia or Cirrus at a price range somewhere between $10,000 and $15,000. And that’s something that we’re going to jump at because of the lower cost and new technology.”

An L-3 Avionics spokeswoman emphasized that Tramper’s comments were meant more to convey a sense of what technologies might be coming to aviation and not to announce a specific program in the works at the company. EVS makers are known to be exploring a number of less costly technologies, although BST has not been widely mentioned