Decades ago, when the original specification was created for the radar altimetry, the Radio Frequency (RF) environment was protected. However, with new terrestrial broadband datalink systems such as 5G, and as identified by the RTCA Special Committee, these devices may be compromised in the new environment.
The new radar altimeters feature redesigned RF circuitry built to withstand 5G interference. This adaptation will increase this critical sensor's availability and reliability – the only sensor onboard an aircraft capable of detecting clearance height above terrain – in those challenging RF interference environments.
The new set of radar altimeters, dubbed the Terrain Series, includes the RA 5500, RA 6500, and RA 7500 radar altimeters for multiple aviation markets, beginning with the RA 6500, which is focused on Part 29 Heavy Rotorcraft and business jet markets.
A straightforward retrofit solution
The RA 6500's small footprint means that it can easily be installed in place of legacy altimeters from multiple manufacturers. The existing antennas can also be used in most installations, making the RA 6500 a very straightforward retrofit solution.
"The design represents the forward-thinking, future proof technology that FreeFlight Systems is known for," said Tim Taylor, FreeFlight Systems CEO and President. "The Terrain family is designed for robust operation in future environments and platforms while offering a simple retrofit path for replacement of older less capable altimeters in service today."
The Terrain Series altimeters feature dual-install capability making them suitable for installation in Part 29 rotorcraft and larger fixed-wing aircraft.
Recently, FreeFlight Systems received Approved Model List Supplemental Type Certificate approval covering over 400 FAA Part 23 aircraft airframes for OEMs, including Beechcraft, Cessna, Cirrus, Piper, and more.