Rockwell Collins Initiates Project Validating ADS-B Airworthiness Requirements for Helicopters in Europe

Rockwell Collins, in collaboration with multiple helicopter operators, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), Eurocontrol, and the Netherlands Civil Aviation Administration, recently completed an operational evaluation to successfully validate automatic dependent surveillance broadcast (ADS-B) out airworthiness requirements for helicopters operating over the North Sea. The multi-year project, of which Rockwell Collins was a leading participant, consisted of flight tests using Rockwell Collins TDR-94D transponder and, in some instances, Rockwell Collins GPS-4000S GPS Sensor. Based on the project’s results, Rockwell Collins and its collaborators proposed new ADS-B equipment configurations for helicopters to EASA and approval is expected later this year. “The complexities of helicopter airframes require a different set of design and implementation criteria than fixed-wing aircraft,” says Claude Alber, vice president and managing director of Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) for Rockwell Collins. “Knowing that GPS interference issues can arise due to the differences in aircraft attitudes during operations, helicopter airframes, engines and rotor blades, creates the need to evaluate each platform independently in order to meet the ADS-B out operating requirements.” The integration of ADS-B out capability on helicopters greatly enhances the surveillance capability of air traffic control, especially during flights to offshore oil platforms over the often-stormy North Sea where radar surveillance is not available beyond line of sight.

Leave a Reply