New display developed for AWACS

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology

ISSN: 0002-2667

Article publication date: 1 October 2004




(2004), "New display developed for AWACS", Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 76 No. 5.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

New display developed for AWACS

New display developed for AWACS

Keywords: Aircraft, Radar, Graphical programming

A new ultra-high performance TFT-LCD display, known as SentryView20, has been developed as a joint venture between military supplier Joyce- Loebl and specialist displays manufacturer Calibre (UK) for the AWACS aircraft.

SentryView2Q is specifically designed to interface with the AWACS Sentry E-3 radar console graphics system and is future-proof through its additional ability to support modern, high resolution graphic sources.

Connecting directly to the bespoke output of the Sentry E-3 graphics generator, SentryView20 integrates seamlessly with in situ wiring harnesses, power supplies and built-in test facilities. It includes a real time image rotator (aspect-ratio converter) to allow the portrait mode image from the Sentry E-3 to be displayed on a modern TFT panel. This image rotator uses modem FPGA technology and the state-of-the-art, no-turn- around-delay SRAM to provide an image rotation capability with the minimum of components to ensure high system reliability and MTBF.

The system also has full support for conventional RGB high resolution images generated in portrait mode through modern software on platforms such as NT, Sun and SGI. It can be adapted through simple firmware changes to accept inputs from all modern high resolution sources with image formats of 640 × 350 up to 1,600 × 1,200.

Sentry View20 features a very high contrast ratio TFT-LCD panel to give exceptional image readability in all lighting conditions and is fitted with a high performance, multi-layer, optically coated front viewing window mat is anti-reflective, anti-glare, anti-scratch and anti-smudge. Unlike conventional anti-glare filters, this enhances image contrast and reduces lighting reflections without degrading image sharpness. The display also has a very wide dimming range with full support for existing console mounted brightness and contrast controls.

Unusually, the Sentry E-3 image is processed in digital format from the signal inputs all the way through to the LCD panel, unlike some products fast include a digital to analogue and later analogue to digital conversion process. All digital signal processing greatly improves signal-to-noise to ensure very sharp images with absolutely no background noise or visible interference. This, together with the exceptional image scaling performed by Calibre's proprietary PremierView 4 drive electronics, provides the radar operator with a stunningly sharp and clear image mat minimises operator fatigue and aids accuracy.

Housed in a machined front for ruggedness together with a sheet-alloy rear cover to minimise weight, SentryView20 is designed to fit directly into the Sentry E-3 radar operator console. It is a true-form, fit and function replacement that is stated to require absolutely no software or hardware changes on the aircraft and can be installed in a few minutes.

SentryView20 is said to provide a system with “best in class” image quality together with minimised upgrade path risks by maintaining compatibility with conventional systems through quick and simple reconfiguration.

Details available from: Calibre (UK). Tel: +44 (0) 1274 394125; Fax: +44 (0) 1274 730960; E-mail:; Web site:

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