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Single Antenna Radar Altimeter (SARA)

Single Antenna Radar Altimeter (SARA)

SARA Delivers Improved Reliability and Lower Maintenance Costs

Honeywell’s Single Antenna Radar Altimeter (SARA) provides directors of maintenance increased accuracy, ease of installation and improved reliability by eliminating the design flaws of traditional altimeter systems.

Unlike traditional altimeter systems that are designed to use multiple components that add installation complexity and decreased reliability, SARA eliminates “No Fault Founds” and saves operators approximately $3,800 per occurrence and roughly 10 hours of aircraft downtime according to Honeywell flight operations. 

During development, we interviewed maintenance crews and collected critical feedback to make SARA easy to install and to get rid of typical installation problems. Given the relative ease in which SARA can be removed and replaced from an aircraft, in an unlikely event of a failure, it significantly reduces the aircraft down time.

For example, in traditional altimeter systems, it’s common for one or both antennas to be installed in the wrong orientation. There is also a reduction in troubleshooting time due to corrosion issues (antenna to cable interface).

Troubleshooting a traditional altimeter system can require inspecting separate components installed in different areas of the aircraft which may not be easily accessible. In some cases, it also requires the use of highly specialized RF test equipment which may not be easily available, increasing aircraft down time significantly.

At the moment, SARA is only available for new, forward-fit aircraft.

Honeywell Key Advantages:

  • Parts Count: 1 Line Replaceable Unit (LRU) vs. 6 components of traditional altimeter systems: 1 altimeter, 2 antennas, 2 cables and 1 optional tray.
  • Ease of Installation and Replacement: 8 screws and 1 connector; Approximately 15 minutes external removal and replacement. Honeywell Flight Operations suggest an installation time saving of approximately 2 hours.
  • Installing SARA provides the option of using gel gasket exterior which eliminates the need to seal the antenna to the aircraft which can save up to 8 hours of curing time when installing/replacing a new unit.
  • Improve Reliability: >51,000 hours predicted Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF). Common failure mode of traditional systems is corrosion of RF cable to antenna interface. Interface in SARA is environmentally sealed.
  • Compact Design: 6.1 x 2.8 x 6.2 inches - excluding antenna assembly length and width (155 x 72 x 158 mm).
  • Significant Weight Reduction: Estimated 60% weight savings when compared to traditional altimeter systems: 4.2 lbs. vs 7.73 lbs. (1.90 kg vs 3.50 kg).
  • Improved Safety: Honeywell’s Single Antenna Radar Altimeter doesn’t lock onto heavy rain or bright spots.
  • Industry Standards: FAA TSO-C87a, EUROCAE ED-30, DO-178C Level A, DO-254, DO-160G, ARINC 707-7b.

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Single Antenna Radar Altimeter
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