Honeywell Delivers 30,000th Collision Avoidance System for Air Travel
Honeywell announced it has delivered its 30,000th Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System (TCAS), more than 20 years after certifying the world’s first safety system to prevent mid-air collisions, which provided the baseline for industry-wide requirements and system adoption.
“Honeywell’s invention of TCAS fundamentally improved the safety standard in aviation, with mid-air collisions three times less likely today than just 10 years ago,” said Rob Gillette, President and CEO, Honeywell Aerospace. “Honeywell’s system is helping to save lives every day by providing improved situational awareness and timely traffic advisories. According to Honeywell flight data, advisories are issued on average once every five flights in the U.S.; in Europe, about once every 10 flights.”
TCAS provides a cockpit display of surrounding aircraft and alerts the flight crew if another aircraft is in its flight path with specific maneuvers to avoid a potential collision. TCAS resolution advisories provide guidance to ascend or descend in coordination with the other aircraft’s TCAS instructions.
Honeywell provides TCAS products for corporate, airline, helicopter, general aviation and military customers. Honeywell’s technology provided the baseline for regulatory requirements made in the 1980s, and then went on to exceed those requirements in terms of range and accuracy.
In 1968, J.S. Morrel, a Honeywell engineer, developed the algorithm enabling mathematical definition of the rate of closure between two aircraft in his work, “Fundamental Physics of Aircraft Collisions.” Honeywell’s first traffic systems were prototypes for the U.S. Army and Federal Aviation Administration in the early 1970s. Honeywell developed the first “ground bounce” system – a system that calculated rate of aircraft closure by bouncing signals off the ground, the first time/frequency system – leading to ARINC 587 specifications, the first transponder – which communicates an aircraft’s location to other aircraft and air traffic control, and the first certified commercial TCAS product in 1989.
“Honeywell continues to evaluate flight incident data to bring new safety improvements to aviation,” said Gillette. “We look at the biggest concerns and develop technologies to improve safety – whether we’re helping prevent mid-air collisions, Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) or runway incursions and excursions.”