Garmin Adds GWX 8000 StormOptix to Weather Radar Palette

 - April 28, 2021, 10:07 AM
Garmin’s new GWX 8000 StormOptix weather radar brings new weather threat analysis and depiction capabilities to high-performance jets. (Photo: Garmin)

Garmin’s GWX 8000 StormOptix weather radar brings new weather threat analysis and depiction capabilities to high-performance Part 23 and Part 25 jets and will be available in the second quarter, the company announced on Tuesday. Initial platforms will be business jets equipped with G5000 avionics, which includes the Cessna Citation Longitude.

Available in 10-, 12-, 14-, and 18-inch sizes, the GWX 8000 features a lightweight design. The 14-inch version, for example, weighs 12.9 pounds.

Garmin spent five years developing and optimizing the new radar’s autoscan technology, which included “complex research and flight test programs.” Flight testing was done to verify performance in strati-form and mild rain, severe thunderstorms, hail, lightning, wind-shear conditions, and other weather.

Weather is depicted with a high-definition 16-color palette designed to simplify the interpretation of information, according to Garmin. The color palette offers “greater color contouring,” which helps pilots interpret storm cell severity without having to manually adjust the gain.

Other features of the GWX 8000 include 3D volumetric scanning with automatic tilt adjustment to scan and depict hazardous weather, hail and lightning prediction, turbulence detection, advanced ground clutter suppression, and predictive wind-shear detection, which is optional. The wind-shear detection feature provides aural notifications and visual indications on a dedicated Garmin display.

To refine ground clutter suppression, testing was done in environments that are conducive to ground clutter “to verify the GWX 8000 StormOptix weather radar can consistently eliminate non-weather returns,” according to Garmin, “ultimately offering pilots a cleaner, clear image that allows them to focus on navigating challenging weather conditions.”

Garmin’s Weather Attenuated Color Highlight (Watch) technology can help mitigate attenuation effects, so pilots can “identify shadowing effects of cell activity,” according to Garmin.