Honeywell unveils next-generation avionics lab for Unmanned Aerial Systems and Urban Air Mobility

In the new lab customers can use a control stick to fly a digital version of their aircraft through a high-resolution model of a city ©Honeywell

A new research and development lab built byHoneywell is demonstrating the company’s technological capabilities in both hardware and software for the Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) and Urban Air Mobility (UAM) markets.

The lab, which resembles a conceptual UAM vehicle flight deck with real hardware, is the first of its kind to demonstrate actual fly-by-wire controls and vehicle avionics integrated in a lab setting. It will be used to develop, test and demonstrate Honeywell’s technology aimed at simplifying the operations of future vehicles.

The concept of Simplified Vehicle Operations, or SVO, combines automation and human factor best practices with the goal of reducing the amount of knowledge an operator must have to safely fly an aircraft.

The new lab is located at Honeywell’s Deer Valley avionics facility in Phoenix, Arizona. Configured to look like the front end of an aircraft, the new lab has one seat situated in front of a primary display with three additional large wraparound displays to view the simulated outside environment around the aircraft. It has hardware typically seen in a traditional aircraft cockpit and Honeywell’s Compact Fly-by-Wire System which acts as the brains of the operation, with flight routes and actual control laws built into the software, so the simulated vehicle will operate the same way it would in the real world.

Customers can use a control stick to fly a digital version of their aircraft through a high-resolution model of a city. Honeywell computers and actuators mounted on nearby workbenches adapt in real time to pilot inputs, winds and thermals, and simulated hazards.

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