Bombardier is optimistic its recently developed enhanced vision system (EVS) could be approved by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for landing credit in the near future following completion of work by the multinational safety agency to grant approval of the system for situational awareness.
"They're starting to work on a rule, but for the moment the system will be used for situational awareness only," says Mark Schlegel, the senior engineering test pilot for Bombardier involved in the complex flight test and certification of the BEVS. The EASA action follows the 26 August US Federal Aviation Administration certification of the BEVS, which combines a CMC Electronics SureSight infrared sensor with a Thales heads-up-display (HUD).
The FAA certification allows instrument approaches below Category 1 decision altitude to 100ft (30m) height above touchdown, provided the runway is visible using EVS, and provided that by 100ft above touchdown the crew has a “natural” view of the environment. Transport Canada (TC) certification was achieved on 18 August.
The FAA/TC test phase was conducted over two weeks in winter 2004-5, covered 21 flights and 66h and included 88 approaches in night or in instrument meteorological conditions (IMC). To overcome the logistical problems of trying to find and fly in the right weather conditions with the evaluation pilots from the respective airworthiness authorities, Bombardier invited both FAA and TC crews to participate at the same time.

"To our knowledge, never before have pilots and flight-test engineers of two approval authorities combined with the operational evaluation pilots flown together on the same aircraft at the same time jointly performing the requisite flight evaluations," says Schlegel. Including Bombardier flight tests, the overall certification effort involved 52 flights and 176h, and included 196 approaches, of which 33 were at or below minimums. The final Bombardier certification flight was completed on 24 July.
The BEVS images both the ambient scene and runway lights with a single 1.3 to 5 micron mid-wave IR sensor, routing the video to the pilot's head-up display (HUD) and, to allow the co-pilot to monitor the approach, the flight-management system control display unit in the centre console. Full HUD symbology is displayed along with the IR image by using raster scanning in EVS mode. A filter blocks any input from 1.8 to 3 microns, while the sensor sees runway lights at 1.5 micron and also the thermal band from the lights in the 3 to 5 micron range which is also where terrain and other objects are imaged.
Standard on the ultra-long-range Global Express XRS, deliveries of which start early next year, the BEVS is a $506,000 option on the super-large Global 5000. The BEVS will also be available as a $720,000 retrofit for Global Expresses.

Source: Flight Daily News