Teledyne Controls has announced a partnership with Chinese aircraft manufacturer COMAC to build a real time monitoring system (RTMS) for the ARJ21 aircraft.
At the heart of the solution is the Teledyne Controls’ real-time monitoring unit (RTMU) that will be used in all ARJ21 aircraft after the unit’s certification. The RTMU provides COMAC with a hardware and software solution for data acquisition, aircraft condition monitoring and data recording.
Richard Huang, Teledyne Controls’ Director of Marketing and Sales for the Asia Pacific Region, said: “The purpose of the RTMU is to acquire and monitor the aircraft parameters.
“If any parameters are outside the norm, it will generate and downlink the reports via ACARS in real-time to notify the airline operator and/or the aircraft manufacturer. The operator/manufacturer can then take the appropriate action in a timely manner, supporting operational safety and efficiency.
“The RTMU also records and downlinks continuous raw data after the aircraft lands. This is achieved via Teledyne’s GroundLink® Comm+ systems that are already installed on the ARJ21. This data can be used for aircraft system condition monitoring, performance trending and operational quality assurance.”
Huang says that the RTMU architecture is based on proven data acquisition and management technology that has been used and certified on multiple Boeing and Airbus aircraft.
The RTMU combines the fully-programmable Aircraft Condition Monitoring System (ACMS) processing capability of the Teledyne Data Management Unit with the internal recording capabilities of the Teledyne Quick Access Recorder.”
COMAC sees the RTMU as delivering a number of key benefits:
- ACMS Programming Capabilities: The ultimate power of the solution is enhanced by the ACMS capabilities. Teledyne Controls’ PC Based Application Generation Station (AGS) provides a mechanism for operators to fully customise ACMS application software. AGS-generated application software is uploadable, and therefore allow the users to maintain and modify their ACMS application software on the aircraft, resulting in a significant time and cost savings. Using the AGS, operators can: customise the aircraft parameters to acquire, monitor, and/or record; modify display screens (CDU/MCDU); customise report format and content; and establish report generation conditions.
- Partitioned ACMS Applications: The ability to create ‘Partitioned Applications’ (via AGS) will allow COMAC to maintain a set of ACMS functions (reports, recording map, trigger logic) that are ‘partitioned’ from the customised ACMS functions specific to the airline.
- ACMS Validation: To support both the aircraft manufacturer and the airlines in developing customised applications, the ACMS Tester software is a PC-based tool used to verify the ACMS functions on a virtual machine prior to the aircraft installation. With the ACMS Tester, users can compose and run scenario files to simulate events, trigger reports and generate recording files. They can also send uplink commands and navigate through MCDU screens.
- ACMS Report downlink via GroundLink® Comm+ system: Teledyne’s RTMU features an RS422 interface to transmit ACMS reports to Teledyne’s GroundLink® Comm+ system. ACARS can be expensive and its bandwidth is very limited. With this RS422 interface, non-time-critical reports (such as engine trending monitoring, fuel usage, APU usage, etc.) can be sent via the Teledyne GroundLink® Comm+ system and distributed to the users via cellular network wirelessly and automatically. This also allows the users to develop large ACMS reports without considering the bandwidth constraint of ACARS network.
The first RTMS-equipped ARJ21 aircraft is expected to be delivered in Q4 2018 or early 2019. Over 450 ARJ21 aircraft have been ordered by more than 20 customers.
Teledyne Controls’ China-based team, which has representation in Guangzhou, Shanghai and Beijing, works with the majority of Chinese airlines, and has done so for more than 20 years.