Software and new lighting helps pilots land aboard aircraft carriers

Jan. 19, 2012
Software and new lighting helps pilots land aboard aircraft carriers

Resources:
Office of Naval Research

The Navy will be testing new software and lighting that could help pilots accurately land on aircraft carrier decks despite rolling seas. If successful, the technology should boost safety, reduce training requirements, and cut maintenance costs by lowering the number of hard landings.

Currently, Navy and Marine pilots constantly adjust speed and altitude to stay on the proper glide path to a touchdown on a carrier’s heaving deck. A Fresnel light tied to a landing system lets approaching pilots know if they are above or below the glide path. Lining up with the angled and moving landing deck takes place with the help of Landing Signal Officers on the rear of the ship observing each approach.

In the new system, what’s called a Bedford Array of lights embedded in the flight deck down the center of the landing area is controlled in part by the ship’s pitch and roll. The brightest light an approaching pilot sees at any time represents a visual target stabilized with respect to the proper glideslope for his or her aircraft. Meanwhile, the pilot’s heads-up display shows a dotted green line. It represents the plane’s future flight path based on real-time inputs from the cockpit’s control stick. The pilot maneuvers the dotted line, along with his plane, to pass over the stabilized target light on the ship’s deck, and the aircraft will do what is necessary to ensure it touches down at the right spot.

© 2012 Penton Media, Inc.

Sponsored Recommendations

The entire spectrum of drive technology

June 5, 2024
Read exciting stories about all aspects of maxon drive technology in our magazine.

MONITORING RELAYS — TYPES AND APPLICATIONS

May 15, 2024
Production equipment is expensive and needs to be protected against input abnormalities such as voltage, current, frequency, and phase to stay online and in operation for the ...

Solenoid Valve Mechanics: Understanding Force Balance Equations

May 13, 2024
When evaluating a solenoid valve for a particular application, it is important to ensure that the valve can both remain in state and transition between its de-energized and fully...

Solenoid Valve Basics: What They Are, What They Do, and How They Work

May 13, 2024
A solenoid valve is an electromechanical device used to control the flow of a liquid or gas. It is comprised of two features: a solenoid and a valve. The solenoid is an electric...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Machine Design, create an account today!