Helicopters Magazine

Honeywell improves navigation accuracy for AW101

June 12, 2015  By Honeywell

Honeywell Aerospace will now supply the Finmeccanica-AgustaWestland AW101 helicopter with its LASEREF VI Inertial Navigation System. The advanced inertial navigation technology makes it easier for helicopter pilots to navigate with extreme accuracy, even with the loss of GPS satellite guidance, and brings unprecedented new capabilities to the platform including greater precision and efficiency.

The new upgrade is available for future and in-service AW101 helicopters, and will be accessible to operators starting in 2016. The availability of the LASEREF VI Inertial Navigation System (INS) on the AW101 marks the first time that a Honeywell civil inertial reference system has been certified on an AgustaWestland platform.

“The advanced technology behind the LASEREF VI will bring a wealth of new functionality for AW101 helicopters,” said Steve Lien, vice president, Defense and Space International, Honeywell Aerospace. “Operators who select the platform will benefit from precise flying approaches not previously possible, and pilots will be able to achieve accurate positioning data and maximize safety during operations.”

Honeywell’s LASEREF VI will help AW101 operators improve mission capability and flexibility of their fleet, reduce their pilot workload, and ensure that safety is maintained at all times. Honeywell was selected given its proven performance record and certified Required Navigation Performance (RNP) capability, helping the AW101 remain one of the most capable tactical transport helicopter platforms on the market today.

Benefits of the Honeywell LASEREF VI


AW101 operators flying Honeywell’s LASEREF VI INS can take advantage of new capabilities including a RNP of 0.3 nautical miles with 100 percent availability. With this level of precision, operators can fly approaches not previously possible, including when GPS is temporarily interrupted. It also lays the foundation for them to obtain helicopter operational approval for RNP low-level operations.

Designed to withstand the hot and dusty conditions of rotorcraft operation, the LASEREF VI offers a combined GPS/INS mode and an inertial-only mode. It uses ring laser gyro technology to provide pilots with incredibly accurate positioning data and maximized safety even during extended periods of operation.

The LASEREF VI is small, light and designed to operate with low power draw for improved efficiency. It features Honeywell’s HIGH Step2 inertial-GPS hybrid functionality for improved RNP availability, and has an FAA Technical Standard Order that certifies it to the highest possible civilian standards. The LASEREF VI is one of a wide range of inertial navigation technologies Honeywell supplies for military and civil fixed wing and rotorcraft, as well as space applications, with more than 100,000 systems fielded to date.


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