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Concept of Operations

OVERVIEW

The objective of FlightHorizon is to provide detect-and-avoid (DAA) functions and situational awareness for both manned and unmanned aircraft.

The system is comprised of a software program that runs on a tablet or laptop computer that is used by the manned or unmanned aircraft pilot during flight. An off-the-shelf aircraft radio receiver is attached to the computer and an off-the-shelf aircraft transponder is attached to the aircraft.

Alternatively, the computer may receive signals directly from the transponder over an unmanned aircraft’s control link or by wire on a manned aircraft. The data received by the software is used to provide situational awareness and provides detect-and-avoid (DAA) functions by displaying the flight paths of nearby aircraft and issuing self-separation and avoidance commands to either the pilot or to an autopilot.

The software also provides weather data, air navigation charts and high-resolution aerial photography to aid in navigation and flight safety.

Check out our product tour for more information on the features and capabilities of FlightHorizon!

STRATEGIES

FlightHorizon implements well-tested traffic alerting and self-separation strategies to avoid collisions and improve air safety. The system implements proprietary algorithms, recursive checking processes and flight safety rules to issue avoidance maneuver commands. For more information on this, check out our post discussing the AIAA research paper by Dr. Ricardo Arteaga and his research team on the NASA developed and patented technology behind FlightHorizon.

In addition, the system’s user interface has been tested with pilots of varying backgrounds and experience levels and has scored highly with all pilots on multiple measures of utility and responsiveness. (Read “AIAA Publishes NASA Paper About Detect-and-Avoid” for more details).

 

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OPERATIONAL PROCESS

  1. Aircraft operators purchase a FlightHorizon bundle, which includes the software and either a receiver or a transponder and a receiver.
  2. In the case of an unmanned aircraft, the transponder is self-installed by the pilot. In the case of a manned aircraft, the transponder is installed by a qualified installer.
  3. The software is installed on a tablet or laptop computer and the receiver is plugged into a USB port on the computer.
  4. The software will locate and identify the pilot’s aircraft on the screen and begin tracking both the pilot’s aircraft and any surrounding aircraft using the signals from their transponders.
  5. In the event of air traffic approaching within 4 statute miles of the pilot’s aircraft, an alert will be shown on the screen and sounded audibly.
  6. In the event of traffic approaching within 2 statute miles of the pilot’s aircraft, a warning will be shown on the screen and sounded audibly.
  7. In the event of detection of a potential conflict between the pilot’s aircraft and other air traffic, a warning will be shown on the screen and sounded audibly, and the software will issue an avoidance and self-separation command to the pilot or autopilot.
  8. The software will continue to check for conflicts and continue to issue avoidance commands until the aircraft are well clear and no new conflict is detected.

PLEASE CONTACT VIGILANT AEROSPACE FOR MORE DETAILED
CONCEPT OF OPERATIONS AND SAFETY DOCUMENTS.

Download our software and services summary:

View and download our FlightHorizon™ Software and Services Overview [PDF] document for more information on: Integration and Consulting Services, FlightHorizon GCS™, FlightHorizon AIR™FlightHorizon PILOT™FlightHorizon FLEET™, and check out our Buying Guide to find out which package is best for you!

FlightHorizon™ Software & Services Overview PDF

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