The highly advanced sensors that dramatically improve the visibility of pilots are not limited to military use. Commercial aircraft are also starting to incorporate the latest technologies in visibility, making commercial flights not only safer, but (indirectly) more fuel efficient.
Collins Aerospace recently showcased some of its latest military aviation technologies, at the American Navy League World Expo, including an Air Combat Training System and the MS-110 and MS-177 family of systems (FoS ) which provides state-of-the-art image resolution. and an extensive coverage area. Now Collins has announced that Airbus has selected its next-generation sensor, which will be integrated with the Enhanced Flight Vision System (EFVS).
Located on the nose of the aircraft, this sensor will provide an augmented reality view of the external environment. In poor visibility conditions, when the human eye can only detect a limited amount, the sensor’s multiple infrared and visible cameras allow the pilot to have an accurate view of what is happening outside. Especially in case of rain fog, which is often responsible for flight disruptions, the pilot can get a better picture of the runway, by viewing the camera video on head-up displays.
And there is a secondary benefit. Since better visibility means fewer delays on the runway or in flight, it is also a way to reduce carbon emissions and cut costs. By integrating the sensor into the Airbus EFVS, airlines around the world will be able to benefit from this technology. For now, the sensor will be implemented on the A320 aircraft, with plans to add other platforms as well, in the future.
The Airbus A320, an aircraft available in four sizes (A318, A319, A320 and A321), was introduced as “longest-haul single-aisle. This meant new travel opportunities around the world, with these planes able to fly almost anywhere and take off from urban runways to remote, high-altitude airports.
The EFVS, which will now incorporate the next-generation Collins sensor, is designed to provide exceptional situational awareness.