|Overview||Preface||Table of Contents||Sample Chapter|
Avionics systems are at the heart of modern military and civilian aircraft. The ability of these aircraft to operate safely and conduct their missions effectively relies heavily on the function and performance of their avionics systems. Functions such as automatic flight control, awareness of the aircraft and its surrounds, the ability to communicate using voice and data, and the need to accurately navigate across large distances, all rely on avionics systems. In most cases these days, avionics computers running specialised software provide avionics functionality. These computers are generally networked together to facilitate vast amounts of information sharing around the aircraft. At the beginning and end of the avionics chain is still the human operator called the pilot. The human machine interface (cockpit) has come a long way since aircraft started flying and it is still an area of huge change. Displays, tones, and interface devices continue to improve the efficiency with which information flows between the pilot and aircraft.
This book has been written to be help engineers, technicians, and aircrew understand how major avionics systems work and interact. The book is full of qualitative examples, case studies, and worked quantitative examples to reinforce the theory. Additional references at the end of each chapter allow readers to investigate individual topics in more detail. Review questions also allow readers to confirm their understanding of the main points in each chapter.
Chapter 1 is an introduction to avionics, Chapter 2 outlines aircraft electrical systems and Chapter 3 investigates flight control systems. Chapter 4 introduces air data, air-data sensors, and the air-data system, which is able to calculate a range of critical airspeeds, temperature and altitude. Continuing the theme of aircraft sensors, Chapter 5 discusses inertial sensors such as accelerometers and gyroscopes. Chapter 6 covers airborne radar systems. Chapter 7 is the final chapter on aircraft sensors and covers electro-optic sensors.
Chapter 8 deals with airborne communication systems. Chapter 9 is dedicated to airborne navigation, and is divided into two main sections; dead reckoning navigation and navigation by reference external navigation aids. Chapter 10 describes modern avionics systems as being a number of individual computers networked together. Chapter 11 explores some of the issues associated with running a number of time-critical applications on a single (or resource-limited) avionics computer. Chapter 12 is the final chapter of the book and covers the critical interface between the pilot and the aircraft; the cockpit. Chapter 12 also investigates image intensification in the form of night-vision goggles that are starting to play a major role in both military and civilian cockpits.
Ian Faulconbridge started his professional life as an electronics engineering officer in the Royal Australian Air Force. He was involved with maintenance activities and acquisition projects throughout his RAAF career. Since leaving the RAAF, he has been engaged as a professional engineer on a number of aviation-related consultancies. He has also taught avionics and navigation to undergraduate and postgraduate students at the University of New South Wales at the Australian Defence Force Academy.
Aircraft engines and airframes have traditionally dominated the function and performance of aircraft. Whilst these aspects are still major considerations in aircraft design and operation, the functionality of modern aircraft is increasingly provided by avionics systems, which provide critical functions such as automatic flight control, situational awareness, navigation, communications, and identification.
This book aims to provide a complete coverage of modern avionics systems in a structured fashion to support the work of professional engineers, technicians, and aircrew. The book has been written to allow engineers and other technical people to gain an appreciation and understanding of the discipline. Additional references are provided at the end of each chapter to support further reading and investigation as required. The structure of the book is such that it makes an ideal companion to flight manuals used by aircrew to understand their aircraft. Whilst flight manuals describe a particular aircraft and its systems, this book explores the avionics systems more generally and in more detail.
The book has also been written to support undergraduate education in avionics systems. As well as the references at the end of each chapter, each chapter also includes qualitative and quantitative review questions. These questions attempt to capture the main learning points from each chapter. Answers are provided to the quantitative questions. Worked examples and case studies throughout the text also allow students to reinforce their understanding of key areas.
Chapter 1 is an introduction to avionics. Major (non-avionics) systems are first described to place avionics into context with broader aircraft design. The major avionics systems and their primary functions are then described. Each of the following chapters investigates these avionics systems in more detail. Chapter 2 outlines aircraft electrical systems because avionics systems rely on electrical power to operate. The typical electrical outputs are described, as are the main standards used during the design of aircraft electrical systems. Some fundamental design philosophies leading to typical aircraft electrical systems are then investigated followed by some case studies. Chapter 3 investigates flight control systems. Most modern aircraft rely of avionics systems called flight control systems to perform critical functions like stability augmentation and autopilot. Chapter 4 introduces the concept of air data. By sensing atmospheric pressures and temperature, a system called the air-data system is able to calculate a range of critical airspeeds, temperature and altitude. This chapter describes the components of an air-data system and the calculations performed by an avionics computer called the air-data computer. Continuing the theme of aircraft sensors, Chapter 5 discusses inertial sensors such as accelerometers and gyroscopes. Both traditional mechanical gyroscopes and modern optical gyroscopes are described. The information provided by gyroscopes and accelerometers is a critical input into inertial navigation systems and attitude/heading reference systems discussed in later chapters.
Chapter 6 covers airborne radar systems, looking at the basics of pulse radar. The concepts of resolution and ambiguity are introduced before discussing antenna characteristics, receiver sensitivity, and radar cross section. The radar range equation is introduced as a way of determining the likely range performance of a given radar system. CW-FM radar altimeters and Doppler heading reference systems are described. A section is also dedicated to an important class of airborne radar called pulse Doppler radar. The chapter concludes with a worked example. Chapter 7 is the final chapter on aircraft sensors and covers electro-optic sensors. These sensors rely on energy in the optical portion of the spectrum. Examples of airborne electro-optic sensors are discussed and the major components of an electro-optic system described. The relevant laws of physics are described as the basis for a worked example on infrared detection. The well known AIM-9 air-to-air missile is used as a case study on an operational electro-optic system.
Chapter 8 deals with airborne communication systems and covers the basics of communications theory before discussing the various communications systems on-board a typical aircraft. The major components of a communication system, including aircraft antennas, are described. The need for data communication is also discussed and the Link-16 tactical data link is used as a case study. Associated issues including electromagnetic propagation and loss are detailed in this chapter. Chapter 9 is dedicated to airborne navigation. It is divided into two main sections; dead reckoning navigation and navigation by reference external navigation aids. Dead reckoning requires an appreciation of where the aircraft started its journey, the speed and direction of travel, and the duration of the travel. With this information, current location can be calculated. A number of sensors including inertial sensors, air data sensors, and radar sensors can provide the information required to perform dead reckoning navigation. Aircraft also use a number of navigation aids on the earth’s surface or in space to navigate. Possibly the most well known aid is GPS. This chapter also looks at NDB/ADF, VOR, DME, and TACAN. The ILS landing system is also described. Chapter 10 describes modern avionics systems as being a number of individual computers networked together. The options for networking airborne computers are explored and a case study of arguably the most prevalent airborne network, MIL-STD-1553, is undertaken. Other network standards including some emerging standards are also described.
Chapter 11 recognises that a lot of avionics functionality is achieved through software running on an avionics computer. In addition, most avionics functionality is time-critical. Software systems where time really matters are called real-time software systems. Chapter 11 explores some of the issues associated with running a number of time-critical applications on a single (or resource-limited) avionics computer. Scheduling of tasks is explored through a worked example of rate-monotonic scheduling. Chapter 12 is the final chapter of the book and covers the critical interface between the pilot and the aircraft; the cockpit. Human physiology (centred around human vision and hearing) is explored to the extent necessary to describe interface technology being employed in today’s cockpit. Well known systems like head-up displays are discussed in this chapter. Chapter 12 also investigates image intensification in the form of night-vision goggles that are starting to play a major role in both military and civilian cockpits.
The book has three appendices to help the reader with the material in the text. Appendix A is a list of the (many) acronyms used throughout the text. Although initially difficult to grasp, acronyms are a fact of life in aviation and avionics, and practitioners must become familiar with them. Appendix B contains an explanation of the equipment designation system used for a majority of military electronic equipment and for some civilian equipment. Like acronyms, practitioners should become familiar with this designation system to allow them to follow technical conversations with ease. For example, an aircraft might use a system called the AN/APS-137. Without any knowledge of what this system is, an avionics specialist knows this is some sort of airborne search radar simply by its designation. Knowing this designation system is very useful. The final appendix, Appendix C, contains the Greek alphabet and the engineering prefixes that dominate engineering topics. Again, professionals in this field need to be intimately familiar with both the Greek alphabet and the standard engineering prefixes.
|1.3||Avionics History and Direction||8|
|1.5||Major Avionics Components||12|
|2||AIRCRAFT ELECTRICAL SYSTEMS||17|
|2.1||Generating AC Power||18|
|2.2||Generating DC Power||26|
|2.4||Summary of Electrical Components||29|
|2.5||Standard Aircraft Electrical Outputs||29|
|2.6||Electrical Design Principles||34|
|2.7||Current and Future Directions||39|
|3.4||Traditional Flight-Control Systems||47|
|3.5||Fly-by-wire Flight Control||49|
|3.7||Flight-control Systems Design Issues||53|
|4.2||Principal Components of an Air-Data System||62|
|4.3||Typical Applications of Air Data||63|
|5.4||Inertial Sensor Error and Alignment||88|
|6.2||Radar Introduction and Basic Pulse Radar||91|
|6.4||Radar Range Equation||103|
|6.6||Pulse Doppler Radar Concepts||111|
|6.7||Doppler/Heading Reference Systems||114|
|7.2||Examples of an Operational EO System||120|
|7.3||Electro-optical Detection Scenario||122|
|7.5||Relevant Laws of Physics||125|
|7.6||Basic EO System||130|
|7.7||Image Scanning and Tracking||134|
|7.8||Case Study: AIM-9 Air-to-air Missile||136|
|8.3||Basic Communication Theory||154|
|8.4||Communication System Components||155|
|9.2.||Geometry of The Earth||176|
|9.4.||External Navigation Aids||190|
|10.2||Architectures: Past, Current, and Future||217|
|10.3||Data Bus Characteristics and Architectural Options||225|
|10.4||Data Bus Topologies||230|
|10.5||Data Bus Media||233|
|10.6||Examples of Popular Avionics Data Buses||234|
|11.1||Operational Flight Programs||257|
|11.2||Real-Time Software Considerations||259|
|12.1||Major Human Senses||284|
|12.2||Cockpit Design Guidelines||286|
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