Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Avidyne TWX670 weather detection system receives ETSO
Article Type: Safety notes From: Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology: An International Journal, Volume 80, Issue 4
Avidyne Corporation recently announced that its TWX670 tactical weather detection system – the color, real-time, lightning-based tactical weather avoidance system for general aviation aircraft – has received European Technical Standards Order (ETSO) authorisation from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). Avidyne received Technical Standard Order acceptance from the US FAA last year.
The TWX670 provides real-time weather avoidance capability out to 200 nautical miles (nm), which is especially valuable for customers operating aircraft outside the USA where datalink graphical weather is unavailable. Its advanced, high-speed digital signal processing is said to provide a significant advantage over previous-generation systems by allowing the TWX670 to display lightning in the 0-25 nm range, providing truly tactical weather detection and avoidance capability.
The TWX670 tactical weather detection system is also now available for installation in helicopters, providing rotary wing operators with full color-contoured, dynamic lightning depictions which will greatly enhance their ability to avoid severe weather. The TWX670’s real-time display of storm cell intensity eliminates the guess-work associated with interpreting previous-generation lightning systems.
TheTWX670 is said to be ideal for helicopters, especially those which operate offshore or outside the continental USA where satellite datalink graphical weather information is not available. An excellent complement to existing satellite-based weather data systems, its innovative design also allows it to display lightning strikes which occur within 0-25 nm of the aircraft, in real time. Thanks to its advanced signal processing, calibration, and built-in noise immunity it minimizes radial spread and adds another layer of capability to previously available products.
With its Avidyne-exclusive TWxCell Mode, storm cells and their intensities are displayed as color-filled hexagons which highlight the most intense regions of thunderstorm activity, presenting a visually contoured color display. The TWX670 provides a color map of a thunderstorm’s electrical activity over time, which easily allows the pilot to determine the areas of greatest intensity, and clearly identify areas with potential for convective wind shear, turbulence, micro-bursts, hail and icing. The system’s close-range accuracy is further enhanced by a geo-stabilisation which compensates for aircraft maneuvering.
The TWX670 is available for helicopter operations when interfaced with Avidyne’s MHD300 Multi-Hazard Display. The MHD300’s compact 3-ATI size allows for installation in typically-crowded helicopter instrument panels. The MHD300 displays the TWX670’s full-color TWxCell Mode and color Strike Mode, and will also show “Cell + Strike Mode”, which combines the benefits of both display formats on a single display. The MHD300 also provides display capability for traffic advisory systems, such as Avidyne’s TAS600 series, and Honeywell’s Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning Systems.
An added benefit of the TWX670 is that it is much easier to install than previous-generation systems. During setup it provides a spectrum analyzer-like display to clearly identify sources of onboard electrical noise, making antenna location much simpler and eliminating much of the hassle typically associated with lightning system installations.
The TWX670 expands the suite of available safety sensors developed by Avidyne, which also includes the popular TAS600 series traffic advisory system and the MLB700 broadcast datalink receiver.
The TWX670 will also interface with Avidyne’s EX5000 MFD in fixed-wing Entegra-equipped aircraft. When updated with Release 7 software, the EX5000 MFD provides the necessary interface with the TWX670 and currently supports “Strike Mode.” TWxCell Mode and Color Strike Mode will be supported in a future MFD software release.