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Honeywell Weather Radar System Enhances Weather Detection for Military Operations

by Daniel Nega at Honeywell Aerospace Feature Article
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Daniel Nega, Sr. Director of Business Development, Defense & Space at Honeywell, discusses the company’s IntuVue RDR-7000 Weather Radar System and how its advanced technology can elevate mission effectiveness, reduce crew workload, and enhance pilot safety.

Honeywell Weather Radar System Enhances Weather Detection for Military Operations

Next-Gen Weather Radar Gives Military Pilots an Edge

Generations of military pilots have relied on Honeywell weather radar systems to help them avoid any storm systems standing between them and mission success. Now Honeywell is taking things up a notch with the next-generation IntuVue RDR-7000 weather radar, which sets a new standard for situational awareness and ease of operation.

“The bottom line for the military is always mission effectiveness,” said Adam Gavrich, Senior Technical Sales Manager for Avionics at Honeywell Aerospace. “The RDR-7000 increases mission effectiveness by fully automating radar operation and presenting critical weather information to the crew in an intuitive way. This reduces crew workload and gives them more time to proactively avoid hazardous weather conditions.”

Honeywell engineers developed a technique called 3D volumetric scanning to analyze storm clouds and search for conditions that might produce lightning, hail, turbulence, or wind shear. Then it displays those conditions with easy-to-understand symbology – like small lightning bolts – so pilots can clearly see what kinds of conditions they’re facing and take appropriate action.

With conventional radars, pilots must manually manage radar tilt and gain, however, with the RDR-7000, this is done automatically and continuously. This allows flight crews to focus on flying the aircraft rather than operating the radar.

Coast Guard Chooses RDR-7000 for Helicopter Fleet

In April, the US Coast Guard announced plans to install the RDR-7000 on its fleet of Sikorsky MH-60 Jayhawk and Eurocopter MH-65 Dolphin multi-mission helicopters.

The RDR-7000 is ideal for military helicopter operators like the Coast Guard. The helicopter version of the radar weighs much less than conventional systems and uses a compact 12” antenna instead of the 18” and 24” antennas used in fixed-wing RDR-7000 installations.

“The RDR-7000 also features an optional maritime surveillance mode for helicopter search and rescue operations,” Gavrich said. “Flight crews can use the maritime mode to detect and track multiple vessels. The radar’s target display symbology, sea clutter reduction feature and sector scan capabilities make it extremely effective for search and rescue missions. The radar can detect and annunciate both ships and stationary objects, such as wind farms or drilling platforms.”

The radar creates a complete, real-time view of weather from 0 to 60,000 feet vertically and up to 180 nautical miles in front of the aircraft for typical helicopter applications using a 12-inch antenna. For large helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft, the radar range can be extended to over 320 nautical miles with larger antenna sizes.

RDR-7000 Builds on Honeywell’s Radar Legacy

The weather radar that equips most military aircraft today was developed decades ago and uses dated magnetron-based technology. Originally designed for fixed-wing business aircraft and commercial helicopters, the RDR-7000 gives military operators a multi-generation leap to a proven new-technology solution that will improve flight safety and mission effectiveness, drive down maintenance costs and reduce pilot workload.

Dive deeper into RDR-7000’s features and understand how it can revolutionize your operations>>

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