Universal Avionics: Giving the World One of Its First Flight Management System

Universal Avionics Systems Corporation was founded in 1981 by Hubert L. Naimer. Headquartered in Tucson, Arizona, the company remains a private organization controlled by the Naimer family. Universal Avionics has a manufacturing division and a sales, marketing, and support office in Tucson, Arizona and engineering divisions in Redmond, Washington and Duluth, Georgia. The company developed the world’s first advanced multi-sensor computer Flight Management System (FMS), the UNS-1 in 1982. An integral part of an advanced avionics system, the FMS is responsible for managing the flight plan and reducing the workload on the crew. In 2007, the company’s WAAS/SBAS enabled FMS were the first to be certified for WAAS-enabled LPV (localizer performance with vertical guidance, a set of aviation instrument approach procedures) and granted TSO-146b, Class Gamma-3 approval by the Federal Aviation Administration. Additionally, Universal Avionics’ WAAS antenna was the first to receive TSO-C190 certification. Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) is a satellite based augmentation system (SBAS) that improves the accuracy of GPS signals using ground reference stations relayed to WAAS satellites. In 2002, the company was the first to create a Synthetic Vision System with Exocentric 3-D View certified for Part 25 aircraft. This advanced imaging system gives a three dimensional perspective of the aircraft from behind and to the left, incorporating a dynamic terrain image with the flight path.

Universal Avionics offers products in the following categories: WAAS/SBAS FMS, integrated displays, situational awareness, communications, recorders, attitude heading reference systems, and accessories. Their FMS systems have minimum descent altitudes of only 200 feet with ½ mile visibility greatly improving accessibility and safety. The GPS/WAAS receiver is accurate to within .01 nanometers with 99.999% availability under WAAS coverage. FMS product families include: UNS-1Lw, UNS-1Fw, UNS-1Ew, MCDU, and LPV Monitor. Equipped with terrain awareness and warning systems (TAWS), these FMS greatly enhance a pilot’s situational awareness. Their integrated displays include the EFI-890R advanced flight display for flight deck modernization, the EFI-890H for helicopter flight decks, and the MFD-640, a multi-function display which include TAWS capabilities, weather graphics, visualizations, and other functions. Their UniLink® UL-80X is a communications management unit that facilitates two-way air-to-ground communications. The UniLink features FANS 1/A+ compliance, full ACARS/CMU functionality (including Out-Off-On-In and Airline Operation Control), auto-position reporting and aircraft tracking, and high resolution weather graphics. In addition, the Unilink can operate in 25 kHz and 8.333 kHz channel spacing and with or without a built-in VDR.

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