For the prototype testing of its new jet flagship PC-24, Pilatus has choosen a measurement solution from imc. In addition to the measurement instrumentation, imc will be supplementing the acceptance testing with a number of engineering services.
Versatility, efficiency and Swiss precision – the new business jet from Pilatus
At the “European Business Aviation Conference and Exposition” (EBACE) in Geneva, Pilatus unveiled the PC-24, the world’s first “Super Versatile Jet”. While being a completely new development, the PC-24 reflects all of Pilatus’ traditional values of versatility, efficiency and Swiss precision for the first time in a business jet. This innovative development by the aircraft manufacturer from Stans, Switzerland, creates a new segment in the business aviation market: the PC-24 is the first to come standard with a freight hatch and to be able to start from and land on very short, even natural runways. Furthermore, the jet has an extremely roomy cabin which can be customized to personal requirements. This is what makes it a “Super Versatile Jet”, capable of deployment in a variety of ways to meet unique needs.
Intelligent and reliable handling of large volumes of measurement and video data – in the air and on the ground
Before the PC‐24 is certified and can eventually be delivered to the customer, Pilatus performs comprehensive testing. Together with imc, a solution has been designed in which three test planes are equipped with imc measurement systems. The imc systems capture all analog input variables from a large variety of sensors and signals that cover the entire plane, plus digital data from communication busses of the aircraft system. The special feature: for two out of three planes, the data acquisition systems even integrate video data capture. To cover the flight control systems and pilots interactions, control screens from the cockpit are monitored by video cameras. These video data are captured synchronously with all other measured data, processed, streamed and stored by one integrated uniform system.
But beyond these demanding performance requirements in terms of acquisition speed and synchronized processing of mixed signals from analog, digital, control bus and image sources, flight tests are challenged with additional needs and demands for test procedures. As these tests are extremely complex and expensive, both the measurement results and the test proceedings require monitoring and live supervision during the flight in order to react and adapt to ongoing events. To achieve such flexibility and direct response, the test system allows live streaming of relevant measurement data from the aircraft to a ground control station where they can be displayed, evaluated, analyzed and stored. The imc system applies PCM (Pulse Code Modulation) telemetry, prevalent and well proven in the aerospace field, to transmit these multi domain data to the tracking station. This allows test engineers and technicians to directly monitor the test and achieve maximum efficiency and benefit – ultimately saving time, money and extracting maximum knowledge about the aircraft system to be analyzed and optimized.
Naturally, real-time display of measured data is possible both on board the plane and at the ground control station – which constitutes an important degree of flexibility. Redundant data integrity is provided by the blackbox functionality of the imc measurement systems in the aircraft, allowing local storage in conjunction with simultaneous telemetry transmissions to ground control.
The project solution is based on various measurement systems belonging to the imc CRONOS series that are operating in an integrated, synchronized and networked configuration. Decentralized imc CANSAS modules, installed in distributed topologies, close to sensor locations, complement the system. The measurement software is the proven modular platform imc STUDIO, which has been supplemented with aeronautics instrumentation widgets.
imc will continue to support and facilitate Pilatus’ aircraft manufacturing operations with comprehensive service work surrounding the measurement instrumentation of the prototypes.