Comac’s ARJ21 aircraft will be getting a new Real Time Monitoring System (RTMS) from Teledyne Controls. A recently-announced partnership between the Chinese aircraft manufacturer and the aircraft data specialist will see the ARJ21 equipped with Teledyne Controls’ Real-time Monitoring Unit (RTMU) once it is certified and ready for installation, which is expected in either Q3 or Q4 of this year.
Richard Huang, Teledyne Controls’ director of marketing and sales for the Asia Pacific Region, says the purpose of the RTMU is to acquire and monitor aircraft parameters. Huang adds that if any aircraft parameters are outside of the norm, the RTMU will generate and downlink the reports via ACARS in real-time to notify the airline operator or aircraft manufacturer—who can then take appropriate action.
According to Huang, the RTMU’s architecture is based on proven data acquisition and management technology that has been used and certified on multiple Boeing and Airbus aircraft. In this case, the RTMU part number is unique to the ARJ21, although Teledyne Controls has similar systems installed on an assortment of aircraft types.
The RTMU includes a built-in Quick Access Recorder (QAR) and a fully-programmable Aircraft Condition Monitoring system (ACMS), which can be modified and enhanced during operation. According to Comac, benefits of this fully customizable ACMS include the ability for operators to customize aircraft parameters, display screens, report generation conditions, and report format and content. Comac also cites the ACMS Tester software as a benefit, as it allows users to simulate events to verify functionality prior to installation.
The RTMU’s functionality can be enhanced through installation of Teledyne Controls’ GroundLink Comm+ system, which can record and distribute data for aircraft system condition monitoring, performance trending and operational quality assurance. GroundLink Comm+ is already installed on the ARJ21 and Comac says this will provide the benefit of eliminating bandwidth constraints for large ACMS reports, since GroundLink Comm+ can transmit and distribute them wirelessly via cellular network.
Comac will be installing the RTMU units—including the trays and wiring—once they are certified for the ARJ21. For now, Teledyne Controls says the RTMU will only be installed onto new aircraft in production. A decision has yet to be made for existing ARJ21 aircraft. The first RTMS-equipped ARJ21 is expected to be delivered in either Q4 2018 or early 2019. So far, more than 450 ARJ21 aircraft have been ordered by more than 20 customers.