Aviation ‘Geek’ Samples Honeywell Aerospace Technology

August 30, 2016 | Author: Lu Han

Note: Self-proclaimed aviation geek Han Lu was among a group of journalists who recently joined Honeywell Aerospace in Phoenix for International Media Day. This blog features some of his observations about the company and its leading-edge technologies.

For quite a long time, the development of aviation technologies has been considered a seemingly remote topic. However as flying increasingly becomes a popular choice for transportation and people start to pay more and more attention to flight safety and experience, this remote topic starts hitting closer to home.

As one of the most important technology providers in the aerospace and aviation industry, Honeywell invests a great amount of budget in research and development. The company invests more in research and development than its industrial counterpart. Honeywell believes that tremendous investments will guarantee advancement and leading positions for its technologies.

The Honeywell Future Technology Laboratory manages a variety of scientific research projects in advanced labs. Hundreds of technology-specified projects are simultaneously in trial and research stages within the in-house facilities of Honeywell.

On the wall at the Neuro-technology Laboratory are many scientists’ imagination of future flight models, including manual, vocal and automated controls. Honeywell also is experimenting with a brainwave sensor. So far, they are already able to control leftward, rightward, upward and downward motions completely by capturing varied brainwave frequencies corresponding to specific brain activities.

This and other advanced technologies under development in the labs will probably show up in aircraft of the future, while other Honeywell technologies are available today.

The majority of Honeywell Aerospace’s product research used to aim at the pilots in the cockpit. For example the company developed the first flight management system (FMS), the first ground proximity warning system (GPWS) and the first certified traffic collision avoidance system (TCAS), the only ground-based augmentation system (GBAS) certified by the FAA in the global market, and the unique 3D weather radar system only available from Honeywell Aerospace.

However, Honeywell is beginning to see that each and every passenger will be the ultimate evaluator of its products. This is the determining reason that Honeywell has invested tremendous efforts into in-flight connectivity technology in recent years. After all, this is one of the products that pleases passengers the most.

Beginning 2012, Honeywell commenced its collaboration with Inmarsat on the Global Xpress (“GX”) Aviation project providing global high-speed in-flight connectivity services, whereby Inmarsat will take responsibility in launching satellites while Honeywell will exclusively manufacture the in-flight terminal JetWave. Designed to fulfill the connectivity needs of mobile equipment onboard, Honeywell’s GX network is the only high-speed broadband connectivity service in the global market.

The soaring user demand and a now quantifiable market scale makes Honeywell very confident in its in-flight network business. By partnering with Boeing, Airbus and other aircraft manufacturers, Honeywell hopes to install the relevant equipment alongside the aircraft manufacturing process or to upgrade old models with such equipment. 2016 will represent a critical point for exponential growth of the global high-speed in-flight network business; robust market demands and increasingly mature technologies will be the two engines powering such boost.

In-flight connectivity solutions are tested on Honeywell’s own flying testbeds. Honeywell has five decommissioned aircrafts for such tests and every year, more than 3,000 test flights will be conducted under normal circumstances.

With many near-term and future technologies under development, Honeywell is the true aviation geek. Because of its engineers, countless new and cutting-edge technologies blossom at Honeywell.

Lu Han

Lu Han

Lu Han is a senior reporter of 21st Century Business Review in China. Her main focusing areas cover large enterprises and business elites of aviation, finance, internet and pharmaceutical industries.

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