Universal Avionics unveils next-gen software-based FMS

Universal Avionics, an Elbit Systems Company, has introduced the next-generation of Flight-Management System, 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.

UA says 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, allowing pilots to ‘fly-by-sight’. Certification is expected during the second half of 2020.

The i-FMS aims to tackle the challenge of pilots needing to “propose changes to the FMS during critical phases of flight such as takeoff and landing.”

During this time, UA say, 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 has been designed to better support 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 can interact with these features by Line-of-Sight (head/eye tracking) and a select/deselect button on the aircraft yoke or throttle.

Dror Yahav, UA CEO suggests marketing trends are moving towards software-based FMSs because they offer a “flexible and open architecture system.”

“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 the 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 customisable HMI, customers can design their flight deck with the hosted FMS software, and as the system is modular, customers can specify future functionalities, allowing for easy adaptation to address upcoming requirements.

Support for a third-party HMI is also offered. Customers can also integrate their propriety functions by interfacing to the core operating system or by customising menus and operational logic.

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