FAA OKs Honeywell's New Radar

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The FAA last week approved a new onboard radar system by Honeywell that helps airline pilots detect turbulence and wind shear in the air mass directly ahead of them. The new RDR-4000 radar's patented 3-D scanning technology introduces new capabilities, Honeywell said. It scans ahead of the aircraft from the nose out to 320 nautical miles, and from the ground to 60,000 feet, or more than 1.5 million cubic miles. It includes a unique vertical profile view of weather ahead of the aircraft that can be presented simultaneously with the normal radar view. It suppresses ground clutter and automatically compensates for the curvature of the earth. “The RDR-4000 is the first and only weather radar system in the industry to be turbulence-certified in accordance with the FAA turbulence requirements,” said Garrett Mikita, vice president of Honeywell's airline business segment. “The data provides altitude information for automatic flight plan and flight path weather detection and for the vertical analysis of storms.” According to The Wall Street Journal, Honeywell has sold the radar to the U.S. military and to Singapore Airlines, and is marketing it to other airlines. Rockwell Collins is working on a similar system.