On May 10, I had the opportunity to speak at a TEDx event in Cincinnati, Oh. The younger brother of the larger TED – Technology, Entertainment, Design – conferences in Long Beach/Palm Springs and the TEDGlobal conference in Edinburgh UK, TEDx’s are locally run but bring the same level of provocative thought and passion.
My presentation reflected what I am passionate about; building highways in the sky. The good people at TEDx Cincy shared a video of my presentation. Watch below and tell me what you think!
A special thank you to all of the local entrepreneurs, designers, lawyers (and sometimes board-game makers) who coordinated the event. It was great to be around such enthusiastic peers who are trying to change the world in their own special way.
Last fall I found myself in a “spirited” debate with a few of my colleagues about how UAVs would integrate into the Navy’s carrier operations environment (this is what happens when a bunch of ex-naval aviators get together and prognosticate about the future…but I digress). The crux of the discussion was around who would do the majority of adapting: UAVs or the supporting elements onboard the carrier?
CVW-17 LSOs onboard USS John F. Kennedy in 2004
As an example, during normal operations LSOs (Landing Signals Officers) are stationed at the aft end of the carrier to ensure the safe and expeditious recovery of all aircraft. They are entrusted by the ship and airwing commanders to help pilots land and, when necessary, visually and verbally communicate signals for pilots to “wave off” and try the landing again. Check out this video of a carrier landing on the flight deck.
In a similar manner, the deck crews taxi the aircraft around to its final shutdown position using a series of hand and light signals in what can only be described as a chaotic ballet. The video below shows the operations aboard a carrier deck.
With the introduction of UAVs into the carrier environment, LSOs, deck crews, and others will have an interesting challenge of safeguarding operations without comprising them. Researchers at MIT are working on a series of exciting experiments to address this issue.
In short, the researchers are “training” UAV sensors to recognize the intricate hand signals and motions that are commonplace on the carrier deck. For example, there are specific motions to taxi forward, right, left, apply brakes, etc. These standardized motions allow the deck crews to “drive” the aircraft into certain positions, often times moving the nosewheel to within inches (yes, inches) of the carrier deck.
"Shooter" giving the signal to launch an F/A-18C off the catapult
Although the technology is nascent, the idea is spot on. Other options include hooking up directly to a UAV and taxiing it around with a joystick (to the elation of all those X-Box players out there) or taxiing via remote control from Vulture’s Row, perhaps.
In terms of landing UAVs on the carrier, the days of LSOs using hand signals is long gone. However, LSOs will continue to have the authority to ensure a clear deck by maintaining wave-off command over UAVs via electronic signals. In other words, if the LSO does not give a green light or if he hits the “pickle” because the deck becomes foul, a signal will be sent to the UAV that will cause it to immediately execute a wave-off and return into the landing pattern for another go-around.
Much work has yet to be done, but the good news is that the best and brightest in the world are beginning to develop innovative solutions.
During a much anticipated set of press briefings at NBAA, GE and Gulfstream announced yesterday that the Integrated Vehicle Health Management (IVHM) system has been selected by Gulfstream for its new, state-of-the-art aircraft, the G650.
The announcement is significant for GE in two ways. First, it shows that IVHM is not merely a concept. GE has been hard at work on this system for a long time: the system has been tested on a variety of platforms and its added value has been proven time and again. Second, it ties IVHM to an impressive airframer and platform: not only is Gulfstream an extremely forward-looking company, but the G650 will represent the pinnacle of its fleet once it enters service next year.
At GE we are understandably proud of what we have accomplished so far with this system and we look forward to expanding our portfolio to new platforms and segments in the industry.
Why do we feel that IVHM is such a game changer? The following three distinguishing elements are at the heart of our value proposition:
• Prognostics: if you are unfamiliar with the term, think “predictive”. IVHM doesn’t only collect data from the onboard systems: it actively analyzes it to predict when certain events may occur in the future. In practice this allows operators to pro-actively apply corrective measures during the aircraft’s downtime, rather than react to events after the fact.
• Resolution: Through GE’s close ties to the airframers, IVHM can provide guidance on the severity and resolution of certain events.
• Agnostic: IVHM has proven its effectiveness on many test platforms, equipped with a seemingly endless variety of systems. As such it allows airframers, operators and aircraft owners the freedom to select an aircraft without worrying how the health management system will be integrated.
If you happen to be at NBAA when you read this, feel free to pass by our booth: we will be showcasing IVHM through videos and interactive experiences.
If you are unable to attend but would still like to see what we’ve been up to, take a look at the following video. We think you’ll agree that our excitement is not misplaced.
This Skyward post was contributed by George Kiefer, vice president of Avionics, North America for GE Aviation
Today is an exciting day for any aviation fan as Boeing marks its first delivery of the 787 Dreamliner to ANA. GE Aviation supplies the common core system and the landing gear actuation, indication and nose wheel steering systems on the 787 delivered to ANA today.
GE Aviation’s common core system (CCS) provides the primary computing environment for the Dreamliner. The remote data concentrators (RDC) are designed to consolidate inputs from the aircraft’s systems and sensors and distribute it via the aircraft’s avionics full duplex switched Ethernet network. GE developed the common core system on the Wind RiverVxWorks 653 partitioned operating environment. The CCS is designed, manufactured and tested at GE’s facilities in Grand Rapids, Michigan and Cheltenham, UK.
GE’s integrated landing gear system controls the deployment and retraction of the aircraft landing gears, including the nose landing gear steering. In addition to the normal package of mechanical hardware, GE provides the flight deck interfaces and local control electronics. The program is supported by GE’s facilities in Washington State and in the UK.
This is only the beginning for Boeing 787 customers and their passengers to experience the greatest technology and improved passenger comfort on the most advanced aircraft in the world. We are eager to support 787 customers for many years as passenger traffic increases and we help airlines grow their fleets.
Hi, I’m Raffaele Delogu - or “Raf” - and I’m the Director of Marketing for Business and General Aviation at GE Aviation Systems. I’m very excited to start a conversation with all the intrigued individuals, aviation industry folks and #avgeeks out there on this blog. If you have any topic suggestions or questions for me, do send them along.
In the meantime, you can watch my video to hear a little more about me!
Boarded a plane recently? You’ve no doubt noticed that air traffic delays are bad, and they’re only getting worse — much worse. In 2009, 100 million system delay minutes cost U.S. passenger airlines nearly $6.1 billion, and those numbers just keep on rising.
One thing’s for certain: We need technology to rescue our struggling air travel system. And one such technology is GE’s Required Navigation Performance (RNP) landing approaches. This technology lets planes fly precisely-defined flight paths without relying on outdated, ground-based radio navigation — rather, it works with precise satellite navigation and advanced tech aboard the aircraft, creating shorter and more efficient flight paths that reduce delays and alleviate air traffic.
GE Aviation designs engines, flight paths, and advanced aircraft systems. And we wanted to share the intricate choreography of flying in all its glory. So we captured all the take-offs and landings that happen over the course of one day and combined them into one short film. Watch, and see the hidden beauty of flight reveal itself.