Rockwell Collins and NASA to design novel cockpit display, furthering supersonic civil transport aircraft development

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa, 14 May 2015. Rockwell Collins won a two-year NASA contract to develop a conceptual cockpit display that will provide a visual representation of sonic boom over the Earth’s surface to mitigate impact on populated areas. NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center will lead the research, working with engineers at the Rockwell Collins Advanced Technology Center.

May 14th, 2015
Rockwell Collins and NASA to design novel cockpit display, furthering supersonic civil transport aircraft development
Rockwell Collins and NASA to design novel cockpit display, furthering supersonic civil transport aircraft development

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa, 14 May 2015. Rockwell Collins won a two-year NASA contract to develop a conceptual cockpit display that will provide a visual representation of sonic boom over the Earth’s surface to mitigate impact on populated areas. NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center will lead the research, working with engineers at the Rockwell Collins Advanced Technology Center.

Rockwell Collins’ findings will be applied in NASA’s High Speed Project, aimed at developing a new generation of supersonic civil transport aircraft.

“In order for supersonic travel over land to happen, pilots will need an intuitive display interface that tells them where the aircraft’s sonic boom is occurring,” explains John Borghese, vice president, Advanced Technology Center for Rockwell Collins. “Our team of experts will investigate how best to show this to pilots in the cockpit and develop guidance to most effectively modify the aircraft’s flight path to avoid populated areas or prevent sonic booms.”

Rockwell Collins will leverage its avionics display technologies and advanced human factors research team to develop the sonic boom cockpit display, incorporating a number of variables such as the aircraft’s movement relative to the ground and the influence of weather on shock waves. Both ground-based and aircraft-measured weather information will be explored and integrated into the sonic boom display’s software to compute best flight path.


NASA’s initial depiction of sonic boom footprint integrated with real-time, local-area moving map. Rockwell Collins will develop conceptual cockpit display using the data to investigate how to best show this to pilots.

Rockwell Collins develops and deploys communication and aviation electronic solutions for both commercial and government applications. The company boasts expertise in flight deck avionics, cabin electronics, mission communications, simulation and training, and information management.

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