Paris 2011: Terprom for A400M

 - June 20, 2011, 9:26 PM

EADS Cassidian has selected Goodrich’s Terprom terrain-referenced navigation (TRN) system for the Airbus Military A400M airlifter.

Terprom, an acronym for terrain-profile matching, is a product of Goodrich’s Sensors and Integrated Sensors division at Plymouth, UK, and is onboard several fast-jet platforms, as well as on the C-130AMP Hercules upgrade and Boeing C-17. Goodrich is presenting and demonstrating Terprom functions here at Paris as part of its integrated cockpit display in the company’s pavilion.

“Goodrich’s Terprom system will provide the A400M with a battle-proven TRN capability that has been specifically designed for tactical transport operations,” said Daniela Dudek, head of the A400M M-MMS program at Cassidian Electronics (Hall Concorde). “It will greatly enhance the situational awareness of the A400M crew, allowing them to operate with increased safety at low level, in poor conditions or when GPS is denied.”

Selection of Terprom for the A400M was made more than a year ago and was followed by a concept phase during which the ability of the software to work within the proposed A400M hardware was fully evaluated. With that phase successfully completed, work now continues on adapting, fully integrating and qualifying Terprom within the A400M’s military mission management system (M-MMS). The airlifter has two of these systems, overall responsibility of which is entrusted to Cassidian.

For the A400M, Goodrich (Static L98) is supplying the core TRN element of the wider Terprom suite. TRN references the actual terrain over which the aircraft is flying against a digital terrain database, drawing information from the radar altimeter and inertial navigation system. The TRN function updates the aircraft’s INS to provide highly accurate positional data, most importantly when GPS data is unavailable. The system can also calibrate errors in the digital database.

Terprom can be used for other functions, such as predictive ground collision avoidance, obstacle warning and passive target ranging. In the A400M application, the development of any additional features is Cassidian’s responsibility.

With Terprom flying on more than 5,000 aircraft in service with 14 countries, Goodrich’s Plymouth facility continues to work on expanding its application. “Integration of the Terprom TRN system onto the A400M confirms the real benefits this system offers to military aircraft crews in today’s intense operational scenarios,” said Martin Couch, avionics business director. “The Terprom system is highly accurate, passive and can be implemented in a wide variety of ways to suit different operational requirements and aircraft types.”

Among the avenues being explored are trainers and helicopters. In the trainer market, the principal challenge is adapting the system to suit avionics systems with less sophistication than is found in fast-jets or high-end trainers such as the Hawk.

In the rotary-wing world, the challenge is convincing users that terrain-referenced navigation has an important part to play in greatly reducing controlled-flight-into-terrain accidents. That task has become easier since the Plymouth facility (formerly AIS) has become part of the Goodrich Corp., with development focusing on integration with other Goodrich systems that are already onboard a number of rotary-wing types.