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MILITARY TECHNOLOGY (MILTECH) is the world's leading international tri-service defence monthly magazine in the English language. MILITARY TECHNOLOGY is "Required Reading for Defence Professionals". Follow us on Twitter: MILTECH1

15 February 2016

Singepore Airshow 2016: Curtiss-Wright and Ultra Electronics Deliver Lightweight Crash Recorder and HUMS Solution for Helicopter Platforms

Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions today announced that its Avionics & Electronics business unit, in collaboration with Ultra Electronics Flightline Systems, has developed Fortress HUMS, a new compact and lightweight ED-112A compliant Cockpit Voice and Flight Data Recorder with integral Health and Usage Monitoring System (HUMS) capability designed for use on rotorcraft platforms. Fortress HUMS uniquely combines flight data recording and HUMS capabilities in an easy to install and affordable single box solution weighing only a fraction of alternative systems. In a typical installation, overall weight is reduced from 70 lbs. to 13 lbs. (32 kg to 6 kg) versus currently available alternatives.

Fortress HUMS can be quickly and easily retrofitted onto a helicopter to provide a size, weight and power (SWaP)-optimized single box solution for mandatory flight recording combined with a HUMS solution for maintenance, safety, fleet management and supply chain interface. Its innovative serial communications network of intelligent sensors, connected via a single cable routed throughout the aircraft, enables rapid integration, significantly reduces system complexity, and reduces the amount of time the aircraft needs to be grounded for installation.  Fortress HUMS is ideal for use in helicopter applications where operators are seeking to extend aircraft operational life and implement predictive maintenance programs. It can be deployed on both existing aircraft and new builds, deployed as a permanent installed combined HUMS and recorder system for new aircraft construction, or deployed as an upgrade path for customers who implement an initial Fortress Recorder only installation.

Fortress HUMS is a non-invasive, fault tolerant, and compact solution that combines Curtiss-Wright’s next generation Fortress crash recorder with the revolutionary integrated Health and Usage Monitoring System developed by Ultra Electronics. The resultant product will offer full crash recorder capability coupled with a state-of-the-art HUM system that will offer users a powerful yet light weight and affordable prognostic and diagnostic health monitoring system. Fortress HUMS’ algorithms calculate the remaining useful life of components, enabling significant maintenance cost savingsand increasing aircraft availability by reducing or extending maintenance beyond conservative periodic routines.

Fortress HUMS has a scalable and composable architecture that can accommodate up to 60 smart sensor channels (e.g. accelerometers, tachometers, communications interfaces, and auxiliary data acquisition modules). The distributed sensor network acquires all data parameters required for both HUMS and FDR functions. This includes vibration data for mechanical diagnostics, engine monitoring, and airframe monitoring; platform dynamics for rotor track and balance; analog and digital signals for HUMS usage monitoring, exceedance monitoring and regime recognition; and ARINC 429, analog, and digital signals for flight data recording. Fortress HUMS can operate with the cockpit area microphone, HD Color camera, Recorder Independent Power Supply and ground replay software to provide a complete cockpit voice, video and flight data recording capability. What’s more, Fortress HUMS is easy to reconfigure because sensors can be repurposed, added or removed, and then reprogramed without the need to remove hardware from the aircraft.