Soon, pilots will be able to look at the outside world through an artificial window called Vision 1, a new system developed by Universal Avionics Systems Corporation. Vision 1 takes the situational awareness advances from TAWS (terrain awareness warning system) to a new level by generating real time terrain depictions on the pilot’s primary flight displays. These real time perspective terrain images, with additional three-dimensional position, flight plan and trend vector depictions, improve situational awareness of proximate terrain toward the perennial goal to enhance safety and reduce CFIT (Controlled Flight Into Terrain) accidents.
Advances in computer processor, graphics, displays and solid-state memory technologies coupled with availability of worldwide digital terrain databases have enabled situational awareness displays. Early TAWS (terrain awareness warning system) utilized these technologies to produce situational awareness terrain depictions on weather radar displays. More recently, real-time perspective, map and profile terrain depictions have been incorporated into TAWS to further enhance situational awareness. The next step is to take the latest technology advancements, which now provide the required performance, display quality and avionics robustness, to generate real-time terrain images on a pilot’s primary flight displays. Vision 1 is intended to break this new ground as a certified avionics system.
This paper presents key Vision 1 enabling and development challenges. These challenges include performance, robustness, reliability and integration with high-resolution primary flight displays, human factors and safety.