universal avionics unveils next generation software-based fms
June 17, 2019
Universal Avionics (UA), an Elbit Systems Company, introduces the next generation of Flight Management System (FMS), the ClearVision™ Interactive-FMS (i-FMS). The i-FMS is a software-based FMS designed to be an end-supplier solution for flight management in an Integrated Modular Avionics (IMA) infrastructure. The i-FMS offers the latest in Human-Machine Interface (HMI) by augmenting Head-Up Displays (HUD) and Head-Wearable Displays (HWD) to the flight deck itself, allowing pilots to ‘fly-by-sight.’ Certification is expected during the second half of 2020.
Built from the ground-up by a company with decades of flight management experience, the i-FMS tackles one of the main challenges pilots face today with FMS operations; the need to propose changes to the FMS during critical phases of flight such as takeoff and landing. Typically, during this time pilots are required to shift their attention from outside the cockpit window to the FMS display unit – to reprogram the FMS and validate changes are correct – requiring last-minute updates and head-down operations. The i-FMS better supports this, allowing pilots to project waypoints and information from the FMS onto the real-world, superimposed on a HUD or UA’s SkyLens™ HWD. Pilots are able to interact with these features by Line-of-Sight (head/eye tracking) and a select/deselect button on the aircraft yoke or throttle.
“Market trends are moving in the direction of software-based FMSs rather than hardware, as they offer users a more flexible and open architecture system,” said Dror Yahav, UA CEO. “The i-FMS software can run on a variety of hardware options – for commercial or paramilitary applications,” he added. “New, innovative interfaces, augmented to the real world utilizing HUD technology is where we believe the market is heading. It’s the future of flying and we’re seeing a high level of interest in it. What really distinguishes our i-FMS solution is that we designed it to support flying by sight. It will simplify avionics and eliminate many of the current pain points in pilot interfaces.”
The i-FMS features a portable FMS with highly modular architecture for ready deployment to any ARINC 653 compliant platform and a separate Human Machine Interface (HMI). The ARINC 653 compliant system allows customers to run the application in many third-party options to best suit their flight deck, with no need for specific hardware or Line Replaceable Units (LRU). The HMI, implemented with an ARINC 661 User Application, connects to the core operating system and allows pilots to communicate with the application. With UA’s easy-to-use, customizable HMI, customers can design their own flight deck with the hosted FMS software. Since the system is modular, customers may specify future functionalities, allowing for easy adaptation to address upcoming requirements. Support for a third-party HMI is also offered. Additionally, customers may integrate their proprietary functions by interfacing to the core operating system or by customizing menus and operational logic.
Paris Air Show attendees interested in demoing the i-FMS may stop by the Elbit Systems Chalet No. 198 to meet with a UA representative.