The radar uses "3-D volumetric scanning" to scan a strip of sky from the ground to 60,000ft (18,000m). This creates a three-dimensional database of information that can be analysed by computer.
The new system promises to ease pilot workload and provide more information about the weather above and below their flightpath. RDR-4000 also brings windshear detection capabilities to smaller aircraft with an antenna as small as 300mm (12in) diameter. Windshear encounters can also be captured in a database for later analysis.
Karl Klewer, Honeywell technical manager, says: “The system can store weather data from two million cubic feet of airspace in front of the aircraft out to 320nm [592km].
“Pilots can use the system to manually analyse storm tops and because it takes the data straight out of the memory the update is instant,” says Klewer.
The system is linked to the flight management system (FMS) to “see” weather along the plotted route. It also features a built-in terrain database to eliminate unwanted ground returns.
RDR-4000 is currently available on the A380 as part of Honeywell's aircraft environment surveillance system (AESS), where it is integrated with the traffic collision avoidance system, Mode-S and enhanced ground proximity warning system. The RDR-4000M military variant is also certificated for the Boeing C-17 and it has been selected for the Airbus Military A400M and Japan’s C-X transport aircraft.
Source: Flight Daily News