Garmin Introduces Its First Radar Altimeter

Garmin has introduced its first radar altimeter, the GRA 5500, an all-digital design intended to bring extremely high altitude accuracy to general aviation aircraft.

The GRA 5500 is able to process hundreds of altitude measurements per second and apply advanced digital filters to help detect and mitigate false altitude returns, Garmin notes. The result is a radar altimeter with accuracy previously seen only in air transport and military radar altimeters, the company says.

Patent-pending technology in the GRA 5500 incorporates built-in self-test monitors that continuously cross check the data and system integrity, assuring the pilot of an accurate measurement of the height above ground. The technology also provides for a simpler installation, with easy calibration, and eliminates the requirement for long lengths of antenna cables that are traditionally required in the installation of radar altimeters, officials add.

The GRA 5500 can be used with all Garmin integrated flight decks and flight displays, as well as third-party products. Compatible Garmin displays include the G1000, G1000H, G2000, G3000, G5000, G5000H, G600, G500 and G500H. The GRA 5500 can also fulfill the radar altimeter requirements for Class A TAWS, CAT II ILS operations and TCAS II/ACAS II. The GRA 5500 is also compatible with Garmin’s new TCAS II/ACAS II solution.

The GRA 5500 has been selected as standard equipment in new aircraft including the Cessna Citation X, Citation Sovereign, Citation Latitude, Citation Longitude and the Bell Helicopter 525 Relentless.

The product has received FAA TSO authorization and is available immediately for $13,995.


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