Early next year Honeywell expects to introduce its Connected Radar (Hall A, Stand 073) weather information service. The concept involves collecting meteorological information from the weather radars of individual aircraft, as well as data from other sources, and aggregating it to provide a meteorological service via Honeywell’s Weather Information Service app.
This ‘crowd-sourcing’ of weather information is of particular significance in the rotary-wing world, especially for operators in the offshore oil and gas sector, where ground radar coverage is not available. It is also of benefit to operators flying in rugged and remote regions, where radar coverage is either not available or blocked by terrain.
Connected Radar draws information from airliners that are fitted with the Honeywell IntuVue RDR-4000 3D weather radar. This sensor uses volumetric 3D scanning and pulse compression techniques to provide a high level of detection/warning for hazards such as lightning, hail, turbulence and windshear.
The radar scans over a 160° arc in front of the aircraft out to a range of 320 nautical miles. Altitude coverage is from ground level to 60,000ft.
Thanks to the radar’s performance, information is generated about the weather at altitude levels way below those at which the primary airliner sources are flying. Connected Radar allows that data to be shared with operators flying way below, allowing them to plan and fly their missions with significantly greater meteorological awareness. This not only improves safety but also minimises delay and potentially saves time and money by allowing the plotting of more efficient routes around weather hazards.
Data can be downloaded via the app to iOS/ Windows tablet devices being used by the flight crew as an electronic flight bag, and by desktop computers in operations offices involved in flight planning. The system provides hazard alerts, as well as current and forecast weather information.