There is little doubt that liquid crystal displays (LCDs) are the way forward for today's increasingly sophisticated cockpits, offering serious gains in size and weight, as well as lower power use over the existing cathode ray tube (CRT). To date, however, the LCD has largely been sidelined into non-critical applications because of limitations in optical performance.

Rockwell Collins has invested more than ten years of research to overcome the limitation. The result is the development of the C7 Compensator, which allows LCD cockpit displays not only to meet the viewing angle and clarity requirements for aircraft certification, but to exceed them.

The compensation system is based on polarisation techniques, applying special optical films over standard commercial LCDs. This gives higher contrast, brightness and colour fidelity from a wider range of viewing angles, while retaining the good economics of the LCD.

Improved clarity and colour discrimination can be crucial for a pilot in today's cockpit environment with its increasing use of graphic displays. Another benefit of the C7 system is in eliminating the jagged edges often associated with digital displays. This allows the smooth movement of dynamic symbology, used in the new breed of navigation and surveillance system displays.

Rockwell Collins says that this enhanced LCD technology will be the cornerstone of its next generation of avionics systems across civil, military and corporate aviation sectors.

Source: Flight International