U.S. government and industry testers plan to begin data-gathering flights later this year using a system that will address perhaps the biggest technological hurdle to widespread use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS)–the ability of a remotely piloted vehicle to “detect and avoid” (DAA) other aircraft. At the same time, a special committee convened by standards organization RTCA is working toward delivering DAA equipment standards by July 2016.
Airborne Collision Avoidance System
NTSB and FAA investigators are initially crediting the traffic alert and collision avoidance system (Tcas) with preventing an April 25 midair between United Airlines and US Airways Boeing 757s while both airliners were under the control of Honolulu ATC center. Both aircraft were flying at FL300 when the Tcas aboard the United aircraft warned the crew to descend. The aircraft reportedly came within 2.2 nm laterally of one another.
Within Six Months
Dec. 23, 2013:
Extension of the Air Cargo Advance Screening (ACAS) Pilot Program and Reopening of Application Period for Participation
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is extending the ACAS pilot program through July 26, 2014, and reopening the application period to accept applications from new ACAS pilot participants through Dec. 23, 2013.
A newly updated FAA draft advisory circular AC 20-151B provides flight departments with fresh guidance necessary in obtaining airworthiness approval for traffic alert collision avoidance systems II (Tcas II), as well as for certification of a stand-alone mode-S transponder system.
Garmin’s new GTS 825 TAS (traffic advisory system) and GTS 855 Tcas I (traffic alert and collision avoidance system) had already received FAA technical standard order approval when they were introduced in March. Garmin is now working on approved model list supplemental type certificates for the GTS 825 and 855.
Garmin has introduced two new avionics products targeting the Part 25 transport category market, the new GTS 8000 Tcas II unit and GTX 3000 mode-S transponder. Both new products received FAA TSO certification on August 7 and will be fitted on upcoming new jets featuring Garmin G5000 avionics suites, including the Cessna Citation Ten, Latitude and Longitude and Bombardier Learjet 70 and 75. Both also can interface with any Garmin G1000 through G5000 system and so will be available for retrofit programs, according to avionics product manager Bill Stone.
The Aviation Safety Network has reported on the status of equipping Russian commercial aircraft with airborne collision and avoidance systems (ACAS) as well as ground proximity warning systems (GPWS) now that the July 1, 2012 deadline in the Russian Federation has passed.
Eurocontrol released an Airborne Collision Avoidance System (Tcas in North America) training document entitled “Not so fast” in May, offering pilots fresh insight into how their personal flying habits might be causing some apparently bogus Resolution Advisories (RA) in crowded skies.
Honeywell is to supply avionics suites for South Korean low-cost carrier Jeju Air’s new fleet of Boeing 737-800s. The contract covers six aircraft that are due for delivery between 2013 and 2017. The cockpit equipment includes Quantum Line communications/navigation sensors, airborne collision avoidance systems (ACAS II), flight data acquisition and management. Also included are IntuVue 3-D weather radars, which have demonstrated “a 50-percent reduction in turbulence-related incidents,” claimed Honeywell.
On December 16 last year, the European Commission adopted a new regulation mandating Change 7.1 software for airborne collision avoidance systems (Acas II) used in aircraft operating in European airspace. The new regulation applies to turbine-powered aircraft with maximum takeoff weights of more than 5,700 kg (12,566 pounds) or aircraft authorized to carry more than 19 passengers.
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