What Technologies Are Used in Aviation?
Whether you’re a pilot or a passenger, you’ve likely wondered: What technologies are used in aviation? You’ll be surprised to find out that there are literally hundreds of different systems that are now being used. Flight management computers, Augmented reality headsets, IoT devices, and even robotics are now commonplace in commercial aircraft. Here’s a look at some of the technologies that make flying safer, faster, and more comfortable.
Flight management computers
A flight management computer is a software that manages the various functions of an airplane. The system consists of two displays: one on the pilot’s forward control stand and the other in the aircraft’s main equipment center. It provides continuous updates on engine performance and critical components, as well as checklists and diagrams to guide pilots through the corrective procedures when necessary. It is also used for data acquisition from the flight data recorder, a type of video recording system.
FMS computers come in various forms. Some are integrated circuit cards, while others are separate devices in the aircraft. Some aircraft have an external box for them, whereas some are self-contained within the cockpit’s control display unit. Some are even powered by a backup battery. They should be replaced during regular aircraft maintenance. It is important to keep these computers up-to-date as software upgrades and new aircraft technologies are constantly being introduced.
FMCs store hundreds of flight plans with pre-determined operational parameters. In addition, they are capable of changing radio frequencies automatically as the flight plan enacts. Internal computations, using fuel flow and quantity systems, allow FMCs to pursue lean operations. Weather and traffic considerations are also integrated. The system can handle all of these variables automatically and communicates with cockpit controllers via a CDU screen.
FMCSs are used to preplan the entire flight. They combine navigation, guidance, and performance management functions into a single system. They also provide automatic lateral and vertical guidance. Their data base can be complemented by the aircraft’s automatic flight control systems. This data is available throughout the flight, and all automatic flight control systems are operative if they are paired with an FMCS. It is also used in automated flight control systems, where they can display calculated values for pilots to use.
Augmented reality headsets
One of the first uses of augmented reality (AR) headsets for aircraft pilots is to provide visual feedback during takeoff and landing. Pilots can wear a device similar to the one used by the pilot in a Boeing 777 to monitor their flight path. Another application for AR headsets is to give pilots more information on the weather and other factors that could affect the airplane’s flight. A pilot wearing an AR headset is more likely to be able to spot weather conditions and make a quick turn on a whim.
Virtual reality can simulate any real-life scenario. In the aviation industry, VR can be used to train ground crew and aviation engineers about the workings of various aircraft parts. This technology can also help pilots interact better with equipment and complex structures. As a result, it is used to improve safety and reduce costs. Here are just a few other ways that VR headsets are used in aviation. They can be used to improve flight training, enhance the visual environment for crew, and even aid in aircraft maintenance.
The use of AR in aviation is growing exponentially. The potential benefits are enormous. The technology can increase efficiency and accuracy in many different sectors, including aviation. By improving the way pilots and engineers train, pilots can avoid a variety of situations that could lead to disaster. A successful application of AR can provide an extra layer of competence and reassurance to pilots and passengers alike. A good example of this is flight training.
Various IoT solutions are being used in aviation. The latest example is EasyJet’s use of wearable technology on their crew uniforms. These uniforms include in-built microphones, allowing them to talk to crew and passengers directly. They also provide real-time information, such as how many flights are scheduled for a day and guidelines for emergency situations. Similarly, Airbus has introduced a platform called ‘Connected Experience’ which connects various cabin components and uses real-time data.
The latest technology allows airlines to make their planes lighter and more efficient by minimizing the wiring. IoT devices help airlines reduce the weight of aircraft by replacing a substantial portion of wiring. Another benefit is that these devices enable internet-based communication and the concept of sensor-to-monitor entities. As a result, it is possible to easily monitor engine health and prevent costly repairs. Additionally, IoT devices help improve air safety by reducing the risk of catastrophic failures.
With the help of IoT devices, flight crews can keep track of the airplane’s speed, weather conditions, and other vital criteria. This allows for efficient operations of the aircraft and proactive measures for passengers. With IoT, the flight attendants can check on their passengers’ comfort and the climate inside the aircraft. The real-time data provided by IoT devices can also help airplane engineers improve aircraft performance and safety.
In addition to monitoring the condition of aircraft components, IoT solutions can be integrated into air traffic control systems. These systems provide a faster response to errors and threats. With IoT, an airport can send specialized personnel to smooth traffic flow. The IoT solution can even make better use of space, which means that queues at security checks and check-in can be eliminated. It can also reduce airport expenses, which can ultimately benefit both passengers and the airline industry.
Aerospace engineering is a large industry that has long used robotic automation for many processes. Demand for aircraft has steadily increased over the past several decades, and the aerospace industry has flourished. While the Covid-19 pandemic has caused a slowdown in the commercial aviation industry, demand for defense and space aircraft continues to grow. This industry has been a great candidate for robotic automation, since common aerospace engineering tasks include drilling, fastening, and painting.
One company working to develop robotic solutions for aviation is called “Robot Aviation.” The company was founded in Gjovik, Oppland, Norway, and has development and production facilities in Warsaw, Poland and Linkoping, Sweden. They also have US offices in Grand Forks, North Dakota, and Phoenix, Arizona. In addition to their unmanned airplanes, the company’s product line includes drones and unmanned helicopters.
The company behind Reliable Robotics believes in autonomous airplanes and has already completed successful tests in the United States. In the tests, pilots simply pressed a button on a remote user interface, and the unmanned Cessna 172 Skyhawk took off and landed. The company has already demonstrated remote landing and take-off for larger aircraft, such as the Cessna 208 Caravan, which can carry up to 14 passengers.
Eventually, airports will be staffed with robots that will perform routine tasks such as checking passengers in. This will increase the quality of the experience for travelers and raise the standard of living for airport staff. Additionally, the use of robotics in aviation will increase wages for employees, and will require them to adapt to new jobs. Fortunately, management is happy to train and support staff to learn new skills. And the benefits of having robots in airports are clear.
The Global Positioning System, or GPS, is a space-based, time and velocity-based navigation system that is operated by the U.S. Department of Defense. GPS consists of twenty-one satellites orbiting the Earth. The satellites are configured so that their positions can be observed by at least four of them at any given time. The GPS receiver uses data from at least four of these satellites above its mask angle to determine its location.
Pilots and flight engineers use GPS to navigate aircraft and monitor weather conditions. As the system develops, the technology will improve the accuracy of navigation guidance. Pilots will find it easier to make a precise approach to airports and minimize the risk of collisions with other planes. Increasing accuracy will make it easier to navigate aircraft through congested airspace. Commercial aircraft will use GPS in the en route phase of flight, which is an extremely critical part of the flight.
The GPS system is based on a constellation of 24 Navstar satellites that are 11,000 miles above Earth. Each satellite broadcasts a pseudo-random-code timing signal that aircraft equipment processes to determine their position. This time signal can also be used to determine flight time and airspace separation. GPS aircraft tracking can help pilots avoid collisions by assisting them in calculating flight times. Additionally, it is used to track trainee pilots and flight schools.
IFR operations in oceanic areas can be conducted with GPS as soon as the aircraft has the appropriate avionics systems installed. For short-range oceanic routes, a single GPS installation may be used in lieu of the dual INS. Moreover, a single GPS installation with a RAIM may be used as the primary navigation system. In other regions, GPS may not be approved for IFR use.
Regardless, GPS is widely used in aviation.