Avionics Update: ACSS unveils combined TCAS, TAWS

 - May 21, 2008, 9:29 AM

Aviation Communications & Surveillance Systems (ACSS), a joint-venture company owned by L-3 Communications and Thales Avionics, plans to certify a combined traffic alert and collision avoidance system (TCAS) and terrain awareness and warning system (TAWS) in a single box called T2CAS. The new product, which is scheduled for certification late next year, would provide GPS and wind-shear warning options, as well as terrain safety standards required by the FAA’s TAWS mandate, said the company. ACSS officials claim that T2CAS will be the only TAWS product to provide avoidance alerts based on actual aircraft performance data rather than standard climb rates and assumptions that all critical functions are performing properly. For example, if one engine fails while an aircraft is approaching a mountain, T2CAS will factor in the decreased performance while accurately alerting pilots of any necessary avoidance maneuvers, ACSS said.