For Cessna, it’s a Max-Viz EVS

 - May 7, 2008, 5:14 AM

Cessna has selected Max-Viz of Portland, Ore. to provide its dual IR sensor-based enhanced vision system (EVS) as an option aboard the Citation X and Sovereign. The company’s EVS-2000 will be offered beginning next year on new Citation Xs and Sovereigns, as well as for retrofit in Citation Xs already in service.

Gregg Fawkes, president of Max-Viz, said that a firm list price on the EVS-2000 for the Cessna jets has not yet been determined. Meanwhile, the single-sensor Max-Viz EVS-1000, which is being installed and STC’d aboard a Challenger 601-3A by Total Aircraft Services at Van Nuys (Calif.) Airport, carries an $84,000 price tag. Both systems use uncooled IR sensors.

The EVS-2000 electronically combines imagery from a long-wave (8 to 12 microns) sensor and a short-wave sensor focused on 1.5 microns. Fawkes said the latter has proven to give the optimum detection and display of runway lights, which is essential for night and low-RVR approach and landing.

The long-wave sensor is best suited to “see” details of terrain and obstacles from above and through clouds, dust and smoke, such as that from this summer’s Oregon forest fires, which provided a real testing environment for the system.

Fawkes said Max-Viz is working on millimeter wave radar (MMWR)-sensing technology with two other companies in a process expected to lead to an EVS that combines the most useful portions of IR and MMWR sensor outputs. The company is also involved under a Department of Defense Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant in an effort to correlate integrated IR and MMWR imagery with digital terrain databases. One result of such an effort could eventually produce a “super TAWS” offering both superior CFIT avoidance and precision landing guidance.

Another possible outgrowth of this research, said Fawkes, is a joint-service landing-aid system that would allow airplanes to be recovered on runways and aircraft carriers day or night even in near zero-zero conditions.

Fawkes explained that such a system would not only allow pilots to see the carrier deck or runway, but would also let Navy landing signal officers monitor an approach. If the landing aircraft were too high, low or off centerline, the LSO would give a wave-off signal that the all-weather-equipped aircraft’s pilot might otherwise be unable to see.