Evaluation of the FAA/MITRE Weather Data Device
OHIO UNIV ATHENS AVIONICS ENGINEERING CENTER
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A Cockpit Weather Display unit developed for the FAA by the MITRE corporation was evaluated. Twenty subject pilots were flown using prerecorded weather information, and, when possible, real-time weather information from the Columbus weather radar uplinked to the aircraft on the Zanesville VOR. The airborne system consisted of a VOR receiver, a processor unit, a control module, and a hardcopy printer that provided the pilot with ground weather radar information in the cockpit upon demand. Throughout the evaluation, pilot acceptance of the unit was universal and enthusiastic. Each pilot felt that this was a long-needed aid for weather avoidance by all types of aircraft. The immediate and thorough understanding of the system operation by pilots of all experience levels illustrates that operational utilization of this unit should be successful. A clear conclusion is that providing the pilot with a low-cost, real time radar weather information source, will be a distinct factor in reducing unnecessary radio transmissions, controller workload, and will aid the pilot in his decision-making process. This can be further reinforced with the realization that such a unit installed in the cockpit would eliminate errors due to verbal communication of the weather picture, provide useful information, and most significantly, directly attack the major problem of aviation thunderstorm avoidance. Importantly, the widespread use of this unit would directly address the flying safety problem of pilots flying into adverse weather conditions which they are not equipped to handle.
- Active and Passive Radar Detection and Equipment