Military Embedded Systems

Synthetic vision avionics system to be integrated onto X-59 aircraft


May 17, 2021

Emma Helfrich

Technology Editor

Military Embedded Systems

Collins Aerospace photo.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa. Collins Aerospace and Raytheon Technologies have been selected by Lockheed Martin to provide avionics for NASA’s X-59 Quiet SuperSonic Technology (QueSST) aircraft. Collins Aerospace will aim to help the aircraft’s pilot fly and land in all weather conditions without any forward-looking windows.

In order to achieve flight without windows, Collins Aerospace claims that the company will be delivering a tailor-made Large Format Display system that will play a key role in the mission of the X-59.

The X-59 design incorporates a long and slender airframe which features an approximately 30-foot-long nose, preventing the aircraft from having a forward-looking window. NASA’s eXternal Vision System will aim to allow X-59 pilots to navigate using a 4K monitor to display images from two cameras outside the aircraft combined with terrain data from an advanced computing system.

By jointly developing software applications with Lockheed Martin Skunk Works and NASA, Collins Aerospace officials claim they were able to provide an optimized avionics solution that includes the company’s touchscreen primary flight displays with tailored multi-function windows, heads-up display (HUD) symbology, synthetic vision, ARC-210 communication radios, and a suite of navigation and surveillance equipment as well as a multi-spectral enhanced vision system (EVS-3600).


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