Avionics News December 2013 - 15

If general aviation is to make a renaissance,
we need strong leadership in proactive safety and the encouragement to
develop enticing new technologies.

specifically light general aviation, simply cannot compete
with. We're flying with 60-year-old designs with technologies
(or rather lack of technologies) that have been banned in the
automotive industry for more than 30 years. Why?
Our electronics, while somewhat better, are still no utopia.
The "new generation" touchscreen avionics are certainly
a step ahead of yesterday's, but, seriously? I'm writing
this month's column on a $300 iPad Mini at 34,000 feet
somewhere over Nevada while listening to my selection of
music. Why is the gap between our avionics and consumer
electronics growing wider?
The recent Part 23 Aviation Rulemaking Committee had
the mandate from the Federal Aviation Administration to
double safety at half the cost. While this is mostly a political
sound bite, I have doubts that the FAA will reach this fiscal
goal. However, the safety goal is achievable and admirable.
Yes, I completely support the doubling of safety. Aviation
should have, and must have, a lower fatality rate; we need
to mandate survivability technology. In a period while the
accident (and fatality) rate in general aviation has been
relatively flat, the fatality rate in the automotive sector per
hundred million vehicle miles traveled has fallen from 5.5
to 1.7 in the period from the mid-1960s to 1994. When I ask
various original equipment manufacturers why they haven't
installed some of the technologies that currently exist or that
we see in the automotive industry, the response is generally
the same; the customer doesn't want to pay for it. The work
of the Part 23 ARC isn't going to change that.
I suggest the issue is four-fold in reality: the lack of
technology, the time and cost necessary to certify the
technology, the general inability to install the technology,
and the lack of safety mandates.
In October, I had the privilege of touring the Argonne
National Laboratory in the Chicago suburb of Lemont.
Argonne is a U. S. Department of Energy laboratory, a
multidisciplinary science and engineering research center
where researchers work alongside experts from industry,
academia and other government laboratories to address
challenges in clean energy, environment, technology and
national security. My tour focused on the technology center.
A primary objective of the laboratory is to promote the
economic interests of the U.S. by facilitating development,
transfer, and use of federally owned or originated technology

to industry for public benefit and to leverage DOE resources
through partnering with industry. During the tour, we focused
on transportation technologies, primarily with alternative
fuel vehicles. As a bit of a tech geek, the tour was really
cool, if not a bit disappointing. In aviation, we don't have
an equivalent.
Sure, we have the National Aeronautics and Space
Administration and the FAA research center in Atlantic
City. But are they truly equal? According to its website, the
purpose of NASA's Aerospace Technical Facility Inventory is
to facilitate the sharing of specialized capabilities within the
aerospace research/engineering community primarily within
NASA. NASA claims as spinoff technologies to include
memory foam, freeze-dried food, firefighting equipment,
emergency "space blankets," Dustbusters, cochlear implants
and now Speedo's LZR Racer swimsuits. NASA claims
there are more than 1,650 other spinoffs in the fields of
computer technology, environment and agriculture, health
and medicine, public safety, transportation, recreation, and
industrial productivity. But I don't see any improvements in
general aviation technologies.
The FAA William J. Hughes Technical Center serves
as the FAA national scientific test base for research and
development, test and evaluation, and verification and
validation in air traffic control, communications, navigation,
airports, aircraft safety, and security. The Technical Center is
the primary facility supporting the nation's Next Generation
Air Transportation System, or NextGen.
So again, where is the general aviation research technology
center?
In 2010, the Center for Automotive Research at Stanford
University announced it had developed a robotic Audi car
that drives itself as a contender for the Pikes Peak race. In
October 2005, the Stanford Racing Team was awarded $2
million for being the first team to complete the 132-mile
DARPA Grand Challenge course with a robotic Volkswagen
Touareg R5. That was eight years ago.
Where does this technology end up? Try finding a car
today without some level of ACAS, or automotive crash
avoidance system. In fact, many of the higher-priced cars
have an active ACAS where the system actually brakes the
Continued on page 38
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Avionics News December 2013

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Avionics News December 2013

Point of Communication
AEA Now
The View From Washington
International News and Regulatory Updates
Beltway Briefing
Want to be Found ... and Legal?
Member Profile
Trig Avionics Ltd.
Avionics News Through the Years
EEDirect
A Conversation With...
Member Profile
Avotek Publishes New AET Study Guide
Civil UAV's
Business Basics
AEA Newsmakers at NBAA Convention
What's New
Marketplace Classifieds
Avionics News December 2013 - Intro
Avionics News December 2013 - Cover1
Avionics News December 2013 - Cover2
Avionics News December 2013 - 1
Avionics News December 2013 - 2
Avionics News December 2013 - 3
Avionics News December 2013 - Point of Communication
Avionics News December 2013 - 5
Avionics News December 2013 - AEA Now
Avionics News December 2013 - 7
Avionics News December 2013 - 8
Avionics News December 2013 - 9
Avionics News December 2013 - 10
Avionics News December 2013 - 11
Avionics News December 2013 - 12
Avionics News December 2013 - 13
Avionics News December 2013 - The View From Washington
Avionics News December 2013 - 15
Avionics News December 2013 - International News and Regulatory Updates
Avionics News December 2013 - 17
Avionics News December 2013 - 18
Avionics News December 2013 - Beltway Briefing
Avionics News December 2013 - Want to be Found ... and Legal?
Avionics News December 2013 - 21
Avionics News December 2013 - 22
Avionics News December 2013 - 23
Avionics News December 2013 - Member Profile
Avionics News December 2013 - 25
Avionics News December 2013 - 26
Avionics News December 2013 - 27
Avionics News December 2013 - Trig Avionics Ltd.
Avionics News December 2013 - 29
Avionics News December 2013 - 30
Avionics News December 2013 - 31
Avionics News December 2013 - 32
Avionics News December 2013 - 33
Avionics News December 2013 - Avionics News Through the Years
Avionics News December 2013 - 35
Avionics News December 2013 - EEDirect
Avionics News December 2013 - 37
Avionics News December 2013 - 38
Avionics News December 2013 - 39
Avionics News December 2013 - A Conversation With...
Avionics News December 2013 - 41
Avionics News December 2013 - Member Profile
Avionics News December 2013 - 43
Avionics News December 2013 - 44
Avionics News December 2013 - 45
Avionics News December 2013 - Avotek Publishes New AET Study Guide
Avionics News December 2013 - 47
Avionics News December 2013 - 48
Avionics News December 2013 - 49
Avionics News December 2013 - Civil UAV's
Avionics News December 2013 - 51
Avionics News December 2013 - 52
Avionics News December 2013 - 53
Avionics News December 2013 - Business Basics
Avionics News December 2013 - 55
Avionics News December 2013 - 56
Avionics News December 2013 - 57
Avionics News December 2013 - AEA Newsmakers at NBAA Convention
Avionics News December 2013 - 59
Avionics News December 2013 - 60
Avionics News December 2013 - 61
Avionics News December 2013 - 62
Avionics News December 2013 - 63
Avionics News December 2013 - 64
Avionics News December 2013 - 65
Avionics News December 2013 - What's New
Avionics News December 2013 - 67
Avionics News December 2013 - 68
Avionics News December 2013 - 69
Avionics News December 2013 - Marketplace Classifieds
Avionics News December 2013 - 71
Avionics News December 2013 - 72
Avionics News December 2013 - 73
Avionics News December 2013 - 74
Avionics News December 2013 - Cover3
Avionics News December 2013 - Cover4
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