NBAA Convention News

‘Smart’ I-shade window gets even smarter

 - October 22, 2009, 11:44 AM

InspecTech Aero Service (Booth No. 3706) has unveiled the new Smart Cabin Automated Dimming System (SCADS) for its I-Shade.

The basic technology is relatively simple. The I-Shade window consists of two layers of clear polycarbonate, between which particles are suspended in a special conducting emulsion. When an electrical current is passed through the emulsion, the particles line up, allowing virtually 100 percent of light to pass through. When the electrical current is shut off, the window goes from clear to 99.9 percent opaque.

The SCADS “smart window” takes that technology to a new level. In addition to the light-, heat- and glare-control capability of the I-Shade, SCADS is even “smarter,” permitting programmable, automated dimming of the window and also allowing its integration into airframe systems and interfacing with cabin controls.

In manual mode, the passenger can select the degree to which the window is rendered opaque. The windows can also be programmed individually or as a group to allow for individual comfort level or to dim automatically in response to the position of the sun relative to the aircraft. On the ground and shut down, the windows automatically switch to their energy-efficient dark state. The I-Shade and its smarter SCADS cousin also block 99.9 percent of harmful ultraviolet radiation.
During the passenger safety briefing, the flight attendant may select fully dark for all but the emergency exit windows so they can be more easily identified.

In a moment of apparent whimsy, the engineers at the Fort Lauderdale-based firm built in a “wow” factor that programs the windows to do something similar to “the wave” at a sports event as all the windows go dark and then switch at half-second intervals to fully clear.

The original I-Shade version, according to InspecTech, is slightly less expensive than the typical mechanical window with a pleated shade. The company did not list a price for the new SCADS window but a source said it will be more expensive.
The I-Shade is already certified in 15 fixed- and rotor-wing aircraft. The SCADS window is undergoing the STC approval process, initially for the Gulfstream G450.