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AVITAS SYSTEMS FIRST FAA-APPROVED CIVIL USE OF BVLOS
Tuesday, October 16, 2018
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Source: GE


Source: GE


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BOSTON -- Avitas Systems, a GE venture, has received Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approval to fly an unmanned aerial system (UAS) beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) in Loving County, Texas. The permission authorizes Avitas Systems to fly a UAS over 55 pounds at low altitudes without a visual observer for industrial inspection; it is the first FAA-approved civil use of BVLOS with radar.

"Being the first FAA-approved civil use of BVLOS with radar is a significant achievement for Avitas Systems and our customers," said Brad Tomer, Interim CEO for Avitas Systems. "Using a technology-centric and collaborative approach is what drives our ability to transform industrial operations and provide safer and more efficient services. We worked closely with Shell Oil Company (Shell) for the use case, location, and to show how this technology can improve industrial operational efficiency and safety. The FAA provided the necessary feedback to enable our team to design a system that safely meets the aviation regulatory requirements. And, we had system design, safety, test, analysis, and validation support from AiRXOS, also a GE venture company."

Currently, regulations require UAS to stay within range of the pilot’s vision. The FAA’s permission allows Avitas Systems to use a radar system and enhanced operational procedures to provide an equivalent level of safety. The extended range of BVLOS operations allows for safer, and more efficient monitoring of critical industrial infrastructure, including well pads separated by rough terrain in the Permian Basin in West Texas. Better turnaround of inspection data leads to cost efficiency and faster facility repairs, compared to traditional methods such as driving to each individual inspection site. When the Avitas Systems technology is combined with advanced analytics, it enables more accurate and efficient monitoring/detection and repair of leaks. It also reduces road safety-related risks by minimizing the number of miles driven each day.

"Drones are already an integral part of Shell’s digital operations, with missions flown daily across our global footprint," said Bruce Culpepper, U.S. Country Chair for Shell. "Now, with the FAA’s approval and with the assistance of Avitas Systems, we can fly over a larger area of our Permian Basin operations to conduct aerial monitoring of our oil and gas infrastructure. This includes leak detection and data gathering needed to make more efficient operational decisions, which will result in improved environmental performance with less strain on road infrastructure in the Permian Basin. This is a tremendous achievement made possible through collaboration with the FAA, GE, Avitas Systems, and Shell, and represents the future of drone-based surveillance technology in the U.S. Unconventionals fields of the future."

BVLOS flight enables data collection in difficult, hard-to-reach places, keeping inspectors out of harm’s way. Avitas Systems integrates pilot-in-the-loop safety measures, using trailer-mounted radar, to ensure enhanced situational awareness during flights. The UAS use robust data links, so their sensors upload live streams of inspection data in real time to the Avitas Systems Platform for review and analysis while safely controlling the flight operation. "We received the FAA’s permission due to our systematic approach of using airspace management with a unique combination of proven UAS radar and communications technologies, which demonstrate that safety is our top priority," said Michael Clatworthy, Director of Flight Operations for Avitas Systems. "This is the first step in our approach to larger-scale BVLOS inspection operations." Looking ahead, Avitas Systems will continue to advance the integration of UASs in innovative ways to improve the safety, efficiency, and precision of industrial inspections. Avitas Systems filed its petition for a grant of exemption pursuant to Section 2210 of the FAA Extension, Safety, and Security Act of 2016 and Section 333 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, with the support of AiRXOS, specializing in enabling advanced UAS operations, and Shell Air Transport - Americas.

Source:  Avitas Systems
Associated URL: avitas-systems.com
Source Date: October 16, 2018
Posted: 10/19/2018

 
 
UNIVERSAL AVIONICS & HELI-ONE COMPLETE TRANSITION TO HOVER CERTIFICATION TESTING
Tuesday, October 16, 2018
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Source: Universal Avionics


Source: Universal Avionics


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AMSTERDAM -- Universal Avionics (UA) reports completion of certification testing with Authorized Dealer, Heli-One, for the company's Flight Management System (FMS) Transition to Hover feature. Testing occurred in Stavanger, Norway with a law enforcement AS332L/L1 Super Puma helicopter modernization program. Certification is now imminent.

The new UA FMS feature allows a hands-free operation for the crew, allowing them to focus on other mission critical tactics. The pilot-friendly interface provides for an automatic approach based on a pilot Mark-on-Target activation. When activated, the FMS computes and provides coupled guidance downwind, performs an automatic course reversal, and communicates with the CDV-155 AFCS to trigger the descent and deceleration to achieve a hover 100 meters downwind of the target. At that point, the helicopter enters an automatic hover at the pilot-selected altitude.

"The Transition to Hover feature is an important addition to the FMS/Multi-Missions Management System (MMMS) for SAR capabilities," said Grady Dees, UA Director of Technical Sales. "The UA UNS-1Fw MMMS provides the helicopter with multiple pre-programmed search patterns," he added. "It's a must-have feature for any AS332L/L1 crew engaged in overwater SAR operations. When, during a search, the crew spots survivors in the water, the automatic Transition to Hover allows for a stabilized and precise pattern to approach the survivors for rescue."

"The Transition to Hover feature is a valuable tool for crews and can heavily benefit search and rescue missions," said Tor Baustad, Heli-One Senior Manager, Design Engineering Heli-One. "This solution was developed by Universal Avionics as they continue to enhance their Flight Management Systems, adding great mission value for operators. We are pleased to collaborate with them and to work with our customers to bring these solutions to operational capability."

Source:  Universal Avionics
Associated URL: uasc.com
Source Date: October 16, 2018
Posted: 10/19/2018

 
 
COMPETITIVE BOOST AND ENHANCED OPERATIONAL CAPABILITIES FOR H145
Wednesday, October 17, 2018
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Source: Airbus


Source: Airbus


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AMSTERDAM -- Airbus H145 customers will now benefit from the extension of the warranty of the H145’s Arriel 2E engines from two years/1,000 hours to three years/2000 hours. This extension is valid for H145s delivered from January 2018.

Furthermore, Airbus has rolled out Helionix Step 3 on the H145, an enhanced version of Airbus’ Helionix avionics suite that enhances situational awareness, improves availability, accelerates helicopter connectivity, and reduces maintenance costs.

Compared with Helionix Step 2, Helionix Step 3 improves the situational awareness of pilots and flight crews, thanks to the new Synthetic Vision System which identifies obstacles. In addition, aeronautical objects like runways and helipads, and landscape elements such as urban areas, roads and railways, can now be spotted more easily by the crew, supporting safer operations.

Helionix also tracks the flight time, measuring the exact flight time between take-off and landing. Thanks to the exact tracking of the flight time, operators can fly up-to 20% longer in the same maintenance interval in comparison to a traditional flight tracking via pilot’s logbook. This leads to a reduction of direct maintenance costs of up to 6%.

The upgrade will also facilitate helicopter connectivity, allowing operators to broadcast their usage data while the helicopter is airborne via an optional communication server.

"The engine warranty extension coupled with the Helionix upgrade will offer greater value for customers by supporting safer operations and enabling operators to make use of the large quantities of data generated on each individual flight," said Axel Humpert, Head of H145 program at Airbus.

Helionix Step 3 is also available on the H175 and will soon be available on the H135.

Source:  Airbus
Associated URL: airbus.com
Source Date: October 17, 2018
Posted: 10/19/2018

 

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