ROCKWELL-COLLINS has linked with Dassault Electronique of France to develop a ground-collision avoidance system (GCAS). Airbus Industrie will flight-test a "red-label" prototype of the Dassault unit in late 1995, in an A319, and the system is to enter service with Air Inter in early 1997.

Rockwell's Collins Commercial Avionics division intends to provide certification, marketing and service support for the predictive GCAS, which will be offered as a replacement for the reactive ground-proximity warning system (GPWS) now fitted.

The GCAS uses precise aircraft position and a digital terrain database to provide up to 30s advance warning of controlled flight into terrain. The ability to project the flightpath ahead, to anticipate hazards, is expected to eliminate the false warnings which have plagued the GPWS, Collins says.

According to programme manager Brian Hawkins, standards are being developed which would allow airlines to substitute the GCAS for the GPWS, installation of which is mandatory in some countries. In addition to a stand-alone GCAS, with external global-positioning-system (GPS) receiver, the team is considering offering a unit with integral GPS sensor and an integrated GCAS and traffic-alert and collision-avoidance system (TCAS).

Honeywell had a tie-up with Cubic Defense Systems to develop a GCAS, but says that this has lapsed. AlliedSignal is developing an enhanced GPWS, with terrain database, and is working on an integrated TCAS/GPWS.

Source: Flight International