Aircraft cockpits have evolved from being a dimly lit, tiny cabin with three or four dials, steering column and rudder controls to a modern flight deck with digital screens that take care of almost everything except take off and land.
As aircraft's developed so did the number of dials in the aircraft cockpit. Pretty soon the aircraft cockpit was a crowded place with dozens of dials fighting for space and the pilot's attention. The pilots not only had to fly the aircraft, they also had to observe each and every dial and figure out the health of the aircraft. This was an impossible task especially during take off and landing. It was therefore obvious that the pilots were going to need some help and thus was born the modern aircraft electronic data management system.
Technically, every bit of data collected by the numerous sensors placed in various parts of the aircraft has a “okay” limit and a “not okay” limit. Additionally, in a lot of cases, the “okay” or “not okay” could only be determined in conjunction with other data. For example, fuel figures in one fuel tank had to be about the same as fuel figures from the other fuel tank. An large variance was usually “not okay”. Additionally, total fuel in the tanks had to tally with pilots expectations based on distance covered and flight conditions.
Ultimately, all this can be broken down into a series of comparisons like comparing current exhaust gas temperature (EGT) with predetermined minimum and maximum EGT temperatures. Aircraft manufacturers therefore began to design and introduce digital devices containing electronic circuits capable of making these comparisons.
These devices were the early versions of the aircraft electronic data management system and received the data directly from the sensors placed in various parts of the aircraft. The device read pre-programmed upper and lower limits stored in memory and decided whether the current data fell within the safe limits. Anomalies were flagged off with a visual (red light) and in some instances, an audible beeper. These early versions of aircraft electronic data management system and were of tremendous help to the pilots.
As time and technology progressed, not only was a high level of artificial intelligence added to these devices, the external or user interface, was made more sleek and user-friendly. More processing power and memory was added and the devices now sported full colour digital screens including touch screens and keypads. This enabled pilots to directly select a certain reading for more detailed information or enter upper and lower limits based on expected flight conditions. Today pilots can even decide on how they want the information displayed.
In fact, modern day aircraft Electronic Data Management Systems tend to be thoroughly integrated units that not only accept data from sensors, they also accept and communicate with navigational instruments such as the GPS and are capable of displaying distance-to-empty and projected fuel balance for a specific location along the flight path. Additionally, they flight data is stored in memory and downloadable to external devices.
J.P.Instruments was founded in 1986 in Huntington Beach, California, USA. J.P. Instruments is leader in aircraft engine data management systems and has added a whole line of reliable and cost effective aircraft instrumentation to its name.