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Glider EFIS anyone?



 
 
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  #1  
Old January 13th 13, 06:37 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
[email protected]
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Posts: 463
Default Glider EFIS anyone?

Looking at the options for instrumentation for new Light Sport Aircraft, I find most manufacturers to offer a complete glass panel for flight instruments, engine controls, communications and of course navigation. There is nothing round with a pointer to be found and everything requires electrons to work. Factory-made gliders require of course to be equipped with certified instruments but I wonder if anybody in our small niche of aircraft instrument design is working on a one-panel box that shows the usual flight information. Given the progress in that area, it is certainly technically feasible.
We would have to get used to vertical tapes for speed and altitude but everything could be over-laid a navigation screen with the usual soaring computer information in dedicated boxes. This would clean up our busy panels and we could rid ourselves of the ugly external boxes that stick out from the panel or the canopy frame. Id be interested in such a panel and would think in the long run this could well be marketed to the existing glider fleet, especially in the Experimental category. So who might be working on a Glider-EFIS?
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  #2  
Old January 13th 13, 06:57 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Roel Baardman
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Default Glider EFIS anyone?

Allow me to share some random thoughts.

Looking at the options for instrumentation for new Light Sport Aircraft, I find most manufacturers to offer a complete glass panel for flight

instruments,engine controls, communications and of course navigation.
There is no thing round with a pointer to be found and everything requires electrons to work.
Factory-made gliders require of course to be equipped with certified instruments but I wonder if anybody in our small niche of aircraft instrument design

is working on a one-panel box that shows the usual flight information.
Given the progress in that area, it is certainly technically feasible.


- It is. However, I think we have one big difference: we rely entirely on batteries for power.
There are not a whole lot of (off-the-shelf) displays out there that are well readable in direct sunlight and do not require a lot of power for their
backlight. There is a company called Pixel Qi, which shows promising technology though.

- I wonder why you would want 'a single box'. I would - personally - like a decent "avionics bay" inside new gliders. That way you can keep a clean panel,
containing just the screen, and RF cables and cables towards things like sensors and GPS can probably also remain short.

We would have to get used to vertical tapes for speed and altitude but everything could be over-laid a navigation screen with the usual soaring computer

information in dedicated boxes.

Why would we have to get used to vertical tapes? When I think long and hard about what information you require for the decision-making process during
cross-country flights, I think that is very very different from those tapes. Also, when certification requires an analogue AIS, why duplicate it on your
precious panel-space?

When I think long and hard, I get the impression that we would use a computer-screen for two purposes:
- As a digital replacement/enhancement of our paper map, the traditional moving map. This is long-term planning, tactics, etc.
- As an instrument to increase situational awareness, by showing data the pilot is not able to visualize himself (traffic at your six for example). This is
short-term planning, collision-avoidance, thermal-centering etc

This would clean up our busy panels and we could rid ourselves of the ugly external boxes that stick out from the panel or the canopy frame.
Id be interested in such a panel and would think in the long run this could well be marketed to the existing glider fleet, especially in the

Experimental category.

So who might be working on a Glider-EFIS?


I am working, for the purpose of getting to know various technologies, on a rapid prototyping platform. Due to the lack of proper displays, and my desire
not to re-do my panel at this point, I interface with good old analog gauges. Borgelt was very kind and provided me with the information required to use
second-seat varios as a generic analog gauge.

Roel
  #3  
Old January 13th 13, 10:09 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Bill D
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Posts: 746
Default Glider EFIS anyone?

On Sunday, January 13, 2013 11:57:40 AM UTC-7, Roel Baardman wrote:
Allow me to share some random thoughts.



Looking at the options for instrumentation for new Light Sport Aircraft, I find most manufacturers to offer a complete glass panel for flight


instruments,engine controls, communications and of course navigation.

There is no thing round with a pointer to be found and everything requires electrons to work.


Factory-made gliders require of course to be equipped with certified instruments but I wonder if anybody in our small niche of aircraft instrument design


is working on a one-panel box that shows the usual flight information.

Given the progress in that area, it is certainly technically feasible.




- It is. However, I think we have one big difference: we rely entirely on batteries for power.

There are not a whole lot of (off-the-shelf) displays out there that are well readable in direct sunlight and do not require a lot of power for their

backlight. There is a company called Pixel Qi, which shows promising technology though.



- I wonder why you would want 'a single box'. I would - personally - like a decent "avionics bay" inside new gliders. That way you can keep a clean panel,

containing just the screen, and RF cables and cables towards things like sensors and GPS can probably also remain short.



We would have to get used to vertical tapes for speed and altitude but everything could be over-laid a navigation screen with the usual soaring computer


information in dedicated boxes.



Why would we have to get used to vertical tapes? When I think long and hard about what information you require for the decision-making process during

cross-country flights, I think that is very very different from those tapes. Also, when certification requires an analogue AIS, why duplicate it on your

precious panel-space?



When I think long and hard, I get the impression that we would use a computer-screen for two purposes:

- As a digital replacement/enhancement of our paper map, the traditional moving map. This is long-term planning, tactics, etc.

- As an instrument to increase situational awareness, by showing data the pilot is not able to visualize himself (traffic at your six for example). This is

short-term planning, collision-avoidance, thermal-centering etc



This would clean up our busy panels and we could rid ourselves of the ugly external boxes that stick out from the panel or the canopy frame.


Id be interested in such a panel and would think in the long run this could well be marketed to the existing glider fleet, especially in the


Experimental category.



So who might be working on a Glider-EFIS?




I am working, for the purpose of getting to know various technologies, on a rapid prototyping platform. Due to the lack of proper displays, and my desire

not to re-do my panel at this point, I interface with good old analog gauges. Borgelt was very kind and provided me with the information required to use

second-seat varios as a generic analog gauge.



Roel


Pixel Qi has some competition:
http://www.extremetech.com/computing...light-readable

One additional advantage to the "Glass Cockpit" is it's relative compactness. Round gauges take up a lot of space so the number one can use is limited. Another is more creative information display is possible such as putting the speed-to-fly command on the airspeed vertical tape as a moving bug.
  #4  
Old January 13th 13, 10:41 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
son_of_flubber
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Posts: 1,524
Default Glider EFIS anyone?

On Sunday, January 13, 2013 1:37:47 PM UTC-5, wrote:
So who might be working on a Glider-EFIS?

I don't think I would want a larger screen with more gauges and info in a glider, (except for a bright and large moving map). I'd rather have my eyes outside the cockpit.

I do prefer a combination of digital readouts and analog dials, but this generation of "speed to fly" varios seem to strike the balance just right. The basic capabilities are already there in the sensor packages, if not yet on the screen. Give it a few years.

http://www.lxnav.com/products/v7.html
http://www.butterfly-avionics.com/in...ent-variometer
http://www.clearnav.net/main/cn-vario.html

One technology that I would like to see in gliders is robotic vision for collision avoidance. Unlike Flarm and Transponders, the other plane does not need any complementary electronics. It is simply a robotically enhanced 'see and avoid'. The tech is starting to emerge for autonomous drones and it should get a lot better, cheaper, and lighter as drones come to prominence. Check this out and be sure to scroll down the page to the near-miss .gif
http://www.sara.com/ISR/UAV_payloads/OCA.html
  #5  
Old January 14th 13, 05:30 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Chris Nicholas[_2_]
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Posts: 197
Default Glider EFIS anyone?

re http://www.sara.com/ISR/UAV_payloads/OCA.html

Interesting.
Only consumes 1 watt of power.
Passively monitors 122 x 10 field of regard.

If its in a drone, and flies much faster than gliders, it should pick most of us up.

But not so good for glider to glider. Many of our collisions involve one behind the other so only one (same as see and be seen has the chance to initiate avoidance.

Chris N


  #6  
Old January 14th 13, 02:08 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
[email protected]
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Posts: 19
Default Glider EFIS anyone?

On Sunday, January 13, 2013 6:37:47 PM UTC, wrote:
We would have to get used to vertical tapes for speed and altitude


I don't have a fraction of the experience and background knowledge required to hold an opinion on this subject, but since that's never stopped me befo I wonder if tape indicators (specifically 'fixed pointer, moving tape' indicators) really make sense for gliders. I understand that they originated as mechanical displays in supersonic military aircraft of the 1960s and that the basic design has remained unchanged through moves to HUDs, then PFDs in transonic aircraft and finally trickled down into slower and slower aircraft.

Once we're into the performance range of gliders, it's not so useful having an indicator that focuses on a small working band of the airspeed and altitude range in order to give precise rate-of-change information. There are plenty of other cues the pilot uses to judge and control rate of change of airspeed, and the rate of change of altitude is something we modify our flight according to rather than manipulate with throttle, so the rate of change information is no great gain. I suspect that there's extra work required to read the instantaneous airspeed / altitude - in a situation where the pilot is under high workload or inattentive / complacent this could be a big drawback.

That's just my gut feeling though. I'd be interested in any studies of the benefits / drawbacks of tape displays in gliders and light powered aircraft..
  #7  
Old January 14th 13, 02:11 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
son_of_flubber
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Posts: 1,524
Default Glider EFIS anyone?

On Monday, January 14, 2013 12:30:28 AM UTC-5, Chris Nicholas wrote:
Only consumes 1 watt of power.
Passively monitors 122 x 10 field of regard.
If its in a drone, and flies much faster than gliders, it should pick most of us up.

But not so good for glider to glider. Many of our collisions involve one behind the other so only one (same as see and be seen has the chance to initiate avoidance.


Assuming these things get cheap (they will because of the proliferation of drones), we just need a second system pointed backwards and maybe a third camera pointed under the bow so we don't open air brakes and descend on top of another glider that is lower in the pattern.

This product is actually very old technology that was at one time sold to GA. They are now trying to sell it into the drone market. Machine Vision and collision avoidance is an exploding area of active research... consider Google's Self Driving Cars, one of many projects in this area.

Systems like this are complementary to transponders and Flarm. Once the Flarm alert goes off, you still need to spot the threat and something like this (perhaps with a heads up display) might help you spot it.

  #8  
Old January 14th 13, 02:22 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
son_of_flubber
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Posts: 1,524
Default Glider EFIS anyone?

I think we'll see this in gliders before we see a glass panel.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Glass

It is very low power consumption and you can leave all the TSO'd gauges in your panel. You can look outside the cockpit AND look at the gauges. The next generation of speed-to-fly variometers will interface with consumer level HUDs if they are smart.

  #9  
Old January 14th 13, 02:54 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
waremark
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Posts: 327
Default Glider EFIS anyone?

On Sunday, January 13, 2013 6:37:47 PM UTC, wrote:
Looking at the options for instrumentation for new Light Sport Aircraft, I find most manufacturers to offer a complete glass panel for flight instruments, engine controls, communications and of course navigation. There is nothing round with a pointer to be found and everything requires electrons to work. Factory-made gliders require of course to be equipped with certified instruments but I wonder if anybody in our small niche of aircraft instrument design is working on a one-panel box that shows the usual flight information. Given the progress in that area, it is certainly technically feasible.

We would have to get used to vertical tapes for speed and altitude but everything could be over-laid a navigation screen with the usual soaring computer information in dedicated boxes. This would clean up our busy panels and we could rid ourselves of the ugly external boxes that stick out from the panel or the canopy frame. Id be interested in such a panel and would think in the long run this could well be marketed to the existing glider fleet, especially in the Experimental category. So who might be working on a Glider-EFIS?


There are various instruments available now with displays of approx 5.6 inches;this size leaves just enough room in a typical glider panel to also have round analog instruments in 57 mm format. I have an LX 9000, obvious rivals are the Clearnav, the LX Navigation Zeus and the Craggy Aero Ultimate. The LX 9000 gives great flexibility in the sceen layout(the others probably do too, but I am not familiar with them). The LX 9000 also comes with the V5 vario, which has most of the same features as the better known V7 - ie it includes an LCD display showing (at option) myriad additional data items. The main LX 9000 display can be configured to include tape displays of airspeed and altitude, but I cannot think why you would want that. Personally I want to use most of the available display area for situational awareness (ie moving map with various things displayed on it). At appropriate times, being based in the UK where IFR flight is allowed, I can hand over some of the display space to an attitude indicator or to a radar display of Flarm traffic.

I look for progress not in the way info is displayed, but in a reduction of power consumption, and an improvement in communication. As of today, to transfer information into or out of any of the fixed glider instruments, you have to fiddle with data cards. It will be a worthwhile improvement when internet access and file transfer are available wirelessly (as is the case for the many GA flight planning and navigation programs running on iPads).

I look forward to other people's thoughts.
  #10  
Old January 14th 13, 03:44 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
John Cochrane[_3_]
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Posts: 339
Default Glider EFIS anyone?

On Jan 14, 8:54*am, waremark wrote:
On Sunday, January 13, 2013 6:37:47 PM UTC, wrote:
Looking at the options for instrumentation for new Light Sport Aircraft, I find most manufacturers to offer a complete glass panel for flight instruments, engine controls, communications and of course navigation. *There is nothing round with a pointer to be found and everything requires electrons to work. *Factory-made gliders require of course to be equipped with certified instruments but I wonder if anybody in our small niche of aircraft instrument design is working on a one-panel box that shows the usual flight information. *Given the progress in that area, it is certainly technically feasible.


We would have to get used to vertical tapes for speed and altitude but everything could be over-laid a navigation screen with the usual soaring computer information in dedicated boxes. *This would clean up our busy panels and we could rid ourselves of the ugly external boxes that stick out from the panel or the canopy frame. *Id be interested in such a panel and would think in the long run this could well be marketed to the existing glider fleet, especially in the Experimental category. *So who might be working on a Glider-EFIS?


There are various instruments available now with displays of approx 5.6 inches;this size leaves just enough room in a typical glider panel to also have round analog instruments in 57 mm format. I have an LX 9000, obvious rivals are the Clearnav, the LX Navigation Zeus and the Craggy Aero Ultimate. The LX 9000 gives great flexibility in the sceen layout(the others probably do too, but I am not familiar with them). The LX 9000 also comes with the V5 vario, which has most of the same features as the better known V7 - ie it includes an LCD display showing (at option) myriad additional data items.. The main LX 9000 display can be configured to include tape displays of airspeed and altitude, but I cannot think why you would want that. Personally I want to use most of the available display area for situational awareness (ie moving map with various things displayed on it). At appropriate times, being based in the UK where IFR flight is allowed, I can hand over some of the display space to an attitude indicator or to a radar display of Flarm traffic.

I look for progress not in the way info is displayed, but in a reduction of power consumption, and an improvement in communication. As of today, to transfer information into or out of any of the fixed glider instruments, you have to fiddle with data cards. It will be a worthwhile improvement when internet access and file transfer are available wirelessly (as is the case for the many GA flight planning and navigation programs running on iPads).

I look forward to other people's thoughts.


One issue comes to mind. To actually replace legally required steam
gauges, the electronic system would have to go through all sorts of
certification, then the reliability of the electrical system becomes
part of the mandatory flight instruments, blah blah blah. So, you'll
still have to have the steam gauges anyway, which lowers the benefits
of mirroring the same information on a screen.

John Cochrane
 




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