AH-2000 – Closed-Loop Flight Testing of the Integrity-Assured MEMS Navigation System

Pavol Malinak, Radek Baranek, Frantisek Olsinar, Tomas Vaispacher, Vibhor Bageshwar, Francesco Conte and Gennaro Formisano

Abstract: The Honeywell AH-2000 prototype is a MEMS IMU based navigation product with integrity-assured performance that satisfies the most demanding global navigation requirements. The AH-2000 prototype’s primary navigation mode is the GPS-aided Attitude and Heading Reference System (GPAHRS) mode which fuses INS, GPS, and magnetometer measurements. The GPAHRS mode provides navigation-grade performance using tactical-grade MEMS IMUs when aided by GPS. It has been developed to satisfy FAA defined accuracy and integrity requirements for global operations. The AH-2000 prototype is intended for operation on large passenger aircraft, business and regional aircraft, helicopters, and uncrewed aircraft systems (UAS). This paper addresses some of the most notable design steps, features, and innovations of the AH-2000 prototype. These innovations include low SWAP-C MEMS IMU technology, signal-in-space integrity for all navigation parameters, IMU dissimilarity, and scalability to small aircraft platforms. A significant part of the paper is devoted to the results of the joint flight test campaign performed by Airbus and Honeywell as part of the European Union funded Clean Sky 2 Program in the stream “Next Generation Aircraft Systems, Cockpit, and Avionics (LPA Platform3)”. During execution of this stream, the AH-2000 prototype, operating in the GPAHRS mode, was integrated into the Airbus A321neo navigation architecture to evaluate its performance using three Airbus testing procedures: the Airbus Simulator System, Open Loop Flight Tests on LPA platforms, and Closed Loop Flight Tests on LPA platforms. The results of the global, Closed Loop Flight Tests demonstrate that, for LPA, the AH-2000 prototype in the GPAHRS mode satisfies demanding accuracy, integrity, continuity, and availability requirements for all navigation parameters. In polar regions, as expected, the direction of the Earth’s magnetic field approaches the local vertical direction, and magnetometer contributions to heading angle become limited. As a result, satisfying accuracy requirements for typical polar aircraft trajectories is extremely challenging and depends on the IMU grade and the GNSS infrastructure onboard the aircraft. The AH-2000 prototype is fully aligned with future ATM requirements (safety, flight efficiency, traffic predictability, enhanced minimum crew operations, autonomy) as defined by the FAA and RTCA documents.
Published in: Proceedings of the ION 2024 Pacific PNT Meeting
April 15 - 18, 2024
Hilton Waikiki Beach
Honolulu, Hawaii
Pages: 595 - 615
Cite this article: Malinak, Pavol, Baranek, Radek, Olsinar, Frantisek, Vaispacher, Tomas, Bageshwar, Vibhor, Conte, Francesco, Formisano, Gennaro, "AH-2000 – Closed-Loop Flight Testing of the Integrity-Assured MEMS Navigation System," Proceedings of the ION 2024 Pacific PNT Meeting, Honolulu, Hawaii, April 2024, pp. 595-615. https://doi.org/10.33012/2024.19619
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