Elbit Systems of America’s Kollsman Commercial Aviation announced at NBAA 2011 in Las Vegas that flight testing of its second-generation, enhanced-vision system, EVS II, is in progress on a Boeing 777 and that certification flight test of a new Kollsman head-up display (HUD) for the Bombardier Challenger 604 is about to commence. EVS symbology projected onto a HUD, from what Kollsman calls an “enhanced flight vision system,” can make it possible to achieve FAA landing credits for lowered approach minima.
Leslie Smith, manager of the FAA flight technologies and procedures division, said at the convention that EVS is an integral element of NextGen development. The goal, she said, is to move beyond granting landing credits for low-visibility operations conducted with using EVS to approving operations all the way to the ground and using EVS for surface-movement guidance. “The hardest part is not the landing but getting from the runway to the gate,” she said.
Roy Gentry, Kollsman Commercial Aviation vice president, explained that Kollsman is working to design an EVS III, but declined to state design goals beyond saying, “We’re pushing the envelope, looking at higher resolution [imagery] for better fog penetration.” He said that the Merrimack, N.H.-based operation is gaining growing acceptance for its lower-cost GAViS EVS on both fixed and rotary-wing aircraft.
While the EVS I and II products for airliners and large business jets use cryogenically cooled infrared cameras, GAViS is based upon a smaller, lighter, uncooled infrared sensor in a single LRU. Gentry said Kollsman engineers are looking to develop a GAViS camera that is three to four times more sensitive than that now in use.
Also at NBAA, Elbit celebrated the delivery of its 1,000th infrared EVS. The unit went to Gulfstream Aerospace, and Pres Henne, Gulfstream senior v-p for engineering and test programs, accepted a plaque commemorating the event from Gentry.