Avidyne Homepage
Forum Home Forum Home > Avidyne General > DFC90/DFC100 Digital Autopilot
  New Posts New Posts RSS Feed - DFC90 System Robustness
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Register Register  Login Login

DFC90 System Robustness

 Post Reply Post Reply
Author
Message
Avidyne View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group


Joined: 12 Aug 2009
Status: Offline
Points: 21
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Avidyne Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: DFC90 System Robustness
    Posted: 29 Jan 2010 at 4:08pm
There has been some concern expressed over failure conditions and their affect on the Avidyne DFC90 and DFC100 autopilots.  The following information is designed to address these concerns.  For the purposes of this discussion, the DFC100 offers an added level of redundancy and safety simply  because the vast majority of installations are in dual-ADAHRS equipped aircraft.  In those configurations, the DFC100 autopilot is capable of taking input from either display or ADAHRS and this therefore, makes it less susceptible to any degraded capability.  Unless specifically identified otherwise, all statements made about the DFC90 can be applied to a DFC100 when accompanied by only a single ADAHRS.

As the attached slides indicate, there are only two conditions that result in a non-functional DFC90 autopilot. Specifically, they are if the sole AHRS is unavailable (indicated by Red-Xs over the attitude display on the PFD) or if the PFD has no power whatsoever (thereby rendering the AHRS to be unavailable).  

After discussion with many Avidyne customers over the years, it has become very clear to us here at Avidyne that the understanding of what constitutes a failed PFD is commonly misunderstood.   Many customers have associated a display issue (distorted or unreadable display, intermittent or non-functional buttons or knobs, etc) as a problem that would have rendered the autopilot unusable.   This is not the case. The same misunderstanding exists over the loss of air data.  Simply put, the loss of the display or air data, or almost any other failure mode does NOT render the DFC90 inoperative.

In order to provide some additional reference points in this discussion, every PFD return for 2009 was individually analyzed to determine what, if any, impact it would have had on a DFC90.   In parallel to that effort, we contacted the manufacturers of the turn coordinators (TC) that are on Cirrus aircraft and serve as the primary input to the S-Tec 55X system.   The TC manufacturers were kind enough to supply their reliability numbers to us for comparison purposes. We in turn were able to integrate that data with our own reliability data for equipment found on Cirrus aircraft and produce the proportional failure rates data that is presented in the attached charts.   Avidyne masked the vertical axis scale in order to honor our agreement with the TC manufacturers but the resulting proportional data is very telling.

The rate at which displays experience some form of failure and the rate at which TCs experience some form of failure are nearly identical.   And, they are both approximately 10 times higher than the rate at which the Avidyne solid-state AHRS experiences any kind of failure that would impact DFC90/100 autopilot operations.   This conclusion comes from empirical data from all of 2009 and not some type of estimate and is presented on the provided pareto chart.

The second part of the attached slides address each column of the pareto chart and attempt to provide the following for each failure mode:
  • A brief description  of how to recognize the specific failure condition  
  • A comparison of the  affect of that failure condition on both the S-Tec 55X and the Avidyne  DFC90  
  • An identification  of what functionality is lost under the specific failure  condition  
  • Avidyne recommended  pilot actions with respect to autopilot operations in the case of that  specific failure condition  
  • A brief description  of the functionality that remains under the specific failure  condition
It is interesting to note that in most cases, the remaining autopilot functionality for an Avidyne DFC90/100 autopilot is higher than the remaining functionality of a S-Tec 55X under the same conditions.

< Click here to download Failure modes slides in PDF format >

Edited by BigDaddyJake - 30 Jan 2010 at 2:56pm
Back to Top
Turrisi View Drop Down
Release 9 Insiders
Release 9 Insiders
Avatar

Joined: 18 May 2009
Location: Washington DC
Status: Offline
Points: 31
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Turrisi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Jan 2010 at 7:45pm
This is very helpful data and should be shared with the Cirrus ownership. Is there a plan to post this on COPA?
Brian
Back to Top
AviJake View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group


Joined: 26 Mar 2009
Location: Lincoln MA
Status: Offline
Points: 2815
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AviJake Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Jan 2010 at 2:49pm
In reference to Brian's question (and thanks to him), there is now a pointer to this forum on COPA at http://www.cirruspilots.org/forums/p/116035/489994.aspx#489994

BTW, disregard the "Avidyne Confidential" tags on the bottom of the powerpoint slides.
Steve Jacobson
sjacobson@avidyne.com
Back to Top
Ylinen View Drop Down
Newbie
Newbie


Joined: 20 Nov 2009
Status: Offline
Points: 2
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ylinen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Jan 2010 at 10:26pm
Is there a reason why the "Y" axis does not have a legend or numbers?
 
While you say that it is 10X different;  Having numbers would allow us to clearly understand the variance of the legend.
 
You should also clearly call out what each category on the BAR chart means. 
Back to Top
AviJake View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group


Joined: 26 Mar 2009
Location: Lincoln MA
Status: Offline
Points: 2815
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AviJake Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Feb 2010 at 10:54am
Thanks for the questions.

The lack of labeling of the y-axis was done to protect the agreement we made with the turn coordinator manufacturers.   That being said, there is no variability between the y-axis incremental markings.  In other words, the proportionality between the bars is a 1-to-1.  If one bar is one tick mark high and another bar is 5 tick marks high, the 2nd bar has a 5-time higher failure rate.

I'll take a look at improving the labeling of each bar but the slides that are accessible via the green link try to add more description and explanation for each bar on the pareto.
Steve Jacobson
sjacobson@avidyne.com
Back to Top
AviJake View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group


Joined: 26 Mar 2009
Location: Lincoln MA
Status: Offline
Points: 2815
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AviJake Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Feb 2010 at 9:02am
It's not directly related to this thread, but the DFC90 has no plans to integrate with any other ADAHRS other than Avidyne units.  This means no Aspen or L3 Trilogy or other support in the plans.
Steve Jacobson
sjacobson@avidyne.com
Back to Top
John View Drop Down
Newbie
Newbie
Avatar

Joined: 05 Sep 2010
Location: Cleveland, OH
Status: Offline
Points: 11
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote John Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Sep 2010 at 1:29am
Question - What control does either the DFC90 or the DFC100 have/exert over my rudder? Is yaw a consideration in climb? ... in turns?
Back to Top
AviJake View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group


Joined: 26 Mar 2009
Location: Lincoln MA
Status: Offline
Points: 2815
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AviJake Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Sep 2010 at 1:44am
Hi John,

Thanks for the question about DFC90/100 and yaw control.   The short answer is "None." 

Neither the DFC90 or DFC100 have a yaw control channel.  That means they do not act as a yaw damper or equivalent.   It will still be the pilot's responsibility to manage yaw control in turns and climbs (or any other phase of flight) via rudder input.  Using the skid'/slip trapezoid on the PFD ADI, you can tell if any rudder input is needed.

Not keeping coordinated flight via rudder input may result in a potential steady state heading "error".  In other words, if in HDG mode for example with a bugged target heading of 100 deg, uncoordinated flight may result in a degree or two of heading error while the rest of the DFC90/100 is fighting the effects of flying "sideways".

High power and/or low airspeed situations should always have heightened pilot awareness of aircraft yaw and the DFC90/100 will not provide automatic input.

Best regards,

Steve Jacobson
VP Product Management
Avidyne Corporation
sjacobson@avidyne.com
Steve Jacobson
sjacobson@avidyne.com
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down



This page was generated in 0.063 seconds.