Cessna has selected Max-Viz (Booth No. 3164) to provide its dual IR sensor-based enhanced vision system (EVS) as an option aboard the Citation X and Sovereign. The EVS-2000 will be offered beginning in 2003 on new Citation X and Sovereign aircraft, as well as a retrofit to Citation Xs already in service.
Gregg Fawkes, president of Max-Viz in Portland, Ore., said Wednesday that a firm list price on the EVS-2000 for the Cessna jets is not yet determined. The single-sensor Max-Viz EVS-1000 being installed and STC’d aboard a Canadair Challenger 601-3A by Total Aircraft Services at the Van Nuys, Calif. airport (VNY) 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 short RVR approach and landing.
The long-wave sensor is best suited to “see” details of terrain and obstacles from above and through atmospheric conditions like clouds, dust and smoke, such as that from this summer’s Oregon forest fires, which provided a real-time 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, Fawkes said, is a joint-service landing aid system that would allow planes 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 give Navy landing signal officers the ability to observe and 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.