Rockwell Collins announced its first all-new avionics system in several years when it unveiled the Pro Line Fusion to be standard in the large cabin, very long-range Bombardier Global Express XRS and Global 5000. Fusion, as the name implies, combines the latest sensor technology with advanced displays that promise to add safety and minimize pilot workload.
The most prominent feature of Fusion is the enormous 15-inch displays that Collins says have the best resolution in the industry. There will be four of the big displays in the Globals, with one in front of each pilot and two stacked in the center to handle all manner of display formats.
Fusion will not enter service until after 2010, so details about display formats and operating methods are not yet finalized, but Collins is designing the system to fit into the next generation air traffic system with primary satellite guidance. Fusion also includes a head-up guidance display (HGS). Both the HGS and primary flight display (PFD) will display flight path guidance and also show a combination of synthetic vision and enhanced vision. Some form of "highway in the sky" flight path guidance will also be part of the system.
Collins also is introducing its MultiScan weather radar that will be part of Fusion, but also available to the many airplanes already equipped with Pro Line 21. The MultiScan radar is a smart radar that, without pilot adjustment, eliminates ground clutter, looks over storms to automatically find the tops and, most unusually, compares the radar signature to a library of known storm characteristics. The radar knows where the airplane is and the date, so it automatically considers climate factors. For example, heavy precipitation in the tropics in the winter does not have the same significance to airplanes as heavy rain over Oklahoma in the spring. The radar can also measure turbulence using Doppler techniques. The radar has been flying on many major airlines around the world.
Pro Line 21, which has become the most popular avionics system on light and medium jets and the King Air line, will continue with more capabilities to be added.