The System Algorithm

The System Algorithm

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8673-1.ch012
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The system algorithm that drives mission adaptive displays and that represents most of the adaptive display technology is presented in this chapter. We cover the major algorithmic processes, including the triggering conditions that enable the algorithm to achieve optimum performance. Notice that for extreme risk events, very high risk events, and high risk events, algorithmic processes may not be needed. These events may be pre-determined to contain such risk producing properties. Many extreme risk events automatically trigger an escape maneuver. An example of such an escape maneuver activated by an onboard trigger is the detection by the airplane of an engine failure at the approach end of the runway during takeoff while at a terrain critical airport. This then triggers the escape maneuver performance aid. This maneuver must be followed to ensure terrain or obstruction clearance.
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Mission Adaptive Display Technologies can be explained and clarified by presenting the top-level systems algorithm. This algorithm is presented in Figure 1 and explained further on.

Figure 1.

Algorithm for the Smart Cockpit pertaining to the management of operational risk


Additional System Details

This section covers additional system details concerning the apparatus, system, and methods by which an advanced mission performance aiding system can be developed. This section is intended for professionals engaged in research or design work.

System Overview

Figure 1 shows important aspects of this advanced systems concept. It involves a mission performance aiding system that aggregates mission essential information from a variety of sources, determines its relevance to the operation, and at once alerts the flight crew and provides targeted display features designed to overcome the current difficulties. Furthermore, in the presence of problems, this set of performance aids may in turn suggest specific escape maneuvers to avoid obstacles, overcome instability, and thus avoid catastrophe.

A mission performance aid using mission adaptive display technologies is an intelligent system. It is called Smart Cockpit because mission adaptive displays have the built-in capability to automatically adjust themselves to changing operational conditions. A Smart Cockpit includes a precision maneuver guidance (PMG) feature, mission performance evaluator (MPE), and an ODM system. The PMG feature may be configured to display an escape maneuver on a cockpit display from a database of targeted escape maneuvers. The database of escape maneuvers may include an activation trigger and one or more maneuverability for each escape maneuver. The MPE system compares at least one aircraft operating (operational) parameter at an anchor point to a known parameter and calculates a deviation from such an optimum parameter.

Detailed Description

Modern aircraft are capable of supplying the crew station with an enormous amount of data, often at an inappropriate time. In many respects, pilots are relegated to what could be called “data mining.” However, this vast amount of information can be useful if used in a way that supports and aids performance. Modern airplanes are constructed with complete fly-by-wire systems that are capable of capturing datamation sources, both internal and external. This data can be routed to the cockpit where it may be displayed as an advisory or command to the crew. Some data like mechanical failures may be displayed in prominent locations on one or more of the MFD. Other information, like weather advisories, may require the pilot to navigate through one or more menus to locate it. Crew station performance aids may be employed to aid the flight crew in the structured decision making process by aggregating and displaying all significant operational data and providing the pilot with an advised decision, warnings, and escape maneuvers.

In one example, a pilot mission performance aid (or decision aid) may be integrated into a computer-driven cockpit display system. This mission performance aid may consist of three major functional areas. These are:

  • 1.


  • 2.

    Mission performance evaluator (MPE)

  • 3.

    Precision maneuver guidance (PMG).

The ODM performance aid functions as an onboard risk management aid configured to receive events from the airplane and from external sources and identify all pertinent risk factors, both individually and collectively. Once risk factors are identified, ODM determines a course of action for optimizing mission success, which may include doing nothing, issuing a warning, or activating the PMG. Moreover, the MPE may supplement and extend the functionality of the ODM and PMG to predict an expected mission outcome given existing aircraft and risk conditions, thus providing a full spectrum performance advisor. The PMG in turn may be activated by the ODM, MPE, or other “flight dynamics” triggers when an escape maneuver needs to be engaged. Upon activation, PMG presents targeted information to the flight crew through the MFD dictated by the situation.

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