Airbus Helicopters officials have chosen Northrop Grumman Litef to certify and deliver Litef's new LCR-350 AHRS aircraft navigation technology for several helicopter platforms, Northrop Grumman officials say.
Developed by Northrop Grumman's subsidiary in Germany, Northrop Grumman LITEF, the LCR-350 AHRS is for civil and military applications on fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters.
The AHRS provides critical flight control data on an aircraft's heading and attitude. Litef will certify the LCR-350 for various Airbus Helicopters aircraft. Production of the LCR-350 is expected to begin in 2016.
The LCR-350 AHRS features a high-performance, micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) inertial measurement unit and is based on the standard LCR-300 AHRS. Additionally, the system enables directional gyro mode operation, which minimizes magnetic compass errors, company officials say.
The Northrop Grumman Litef LCR-300, on which the LCR-350 is based, is an evolution from Fiber Optic Gyro (FOG) based systems. It offers MEMS gyro and accelerometer technology. The unit can operate in directional gyro mode, IRS/GNSS blended hybrid navigation data, and has an optional RVSM air data computer.
The LCR-300 operates over the ARINC-429 avionics databus , and is suitable for a wide variation from small to large sized airplanes and helicopters. The unit has built-in test (BIT) and self-test diagnostics.
The unit operates from a 28-volt DC power source and is qualified with no forced air cooling. Its RVSM capable air data computer module (ADCM) combines two critical functions into one LRU. The vibrating cylinder sensor technology used in the ADCM provides stability over years.
In its basic version, the LCR-300 is an AHRS, yet can be upgraded with an embedded air data module. The LCR-300A version will provide air speed and baro altitude output data in addition to the AHRS function.
Long term heading reference is provided by an external magnetometer. If available, the unit can also accept GNSS data to provide hybrid navigation data (GNSS/Inertial) with high bandwidth and low noise.
Free inertial heading or DG mode is available to the pilots via cockpit selection to overcome local geographical anomalies seen in slaved mode. The LCR-300 AHRS measures 8.86 by 3.5 by 5 inches and weighs 4.2 pounds.