Avionics/Aerospace Lighting

Optimize aircraft and aerospace illuminated products to meet photometric and colorimetric standards, enabling the safety and comfort of pilots, crew and passengers

Achieve high-accuracy research and development (R&D) and compliance testing for avionics and aerospace using Westboro Photonics’ imaging photometers and colorimeters in conjunction with Photometrica image analysis software to produce repeatable, fast and accurate results. Additionally, streamline workflow, reduce test times, and conform to the standards set out with our specialized software packages such as the Beam Pattern and Display Testing Packages.

Light plays a vital role in the safety, operation and comfort of pilots, crewmembers and passengers.  Lighting systems help an aircraft land at night and assist with anti-collision systems; interior lights illuminate the cockpit to provide a pleasing atmosphere for passenger cabins and illuminate walkways during an emergency; and the color red on an instrument panel for example indicates a warning or emergency situation that requires the flight crew’s immediate attention. Aircraft and component manufacturers must ensure that the internal and external illuminated products on an aircraft such as integrated displays, flight controls and indicators, cabin lighting, signage, wing position lights, and even switches, are precise, consistent, appealing, and friendly to the human eye.

To ensure the highest photometric and colorimetric standards are met, maximize safety and heighten the sensory experience, many factors are taken into account including changing lighting and temperature environments, the characteristics of the various applications, the colors being used, and the size and spacing of graphic elements. And as displays become more and more complicated with smart technologies, these standards become even more and more important.

Meeting these color and lighting guidelines in the case of avionics and aerospace is critical, as not doing so can have severe, life-threatening consequences that can put public safety at risk.

Interior Lighting

Displays

Aviation displays such as in-dash cockpit and instrument clusters, planning applications such as maps, and in-flight entertainment systems, are significant aircraft components each with their own unique optical performance requirements. Any inconsistencies in the instruments, for example glare caused by extremely bright light sources, varying luminance contrast between surfaces, unsuitable dimming of lights when transitioning from daylight to nighttime, or even the inability to see and identify all of the switches, make for an uncomfortable, tiring environment that strains the pilot’s vision and attention. A pilot should be able to focus on what is outside, without having to also worry about what is happening inside the airplane. At the same time, low quality seat-back entertainment displays deter travellers from selecting a specific airline, resulting in reduced sales revenues. Customers want to ensure a great experience, ranking entertainment as one of the main reasons for their preferred choice of airline.

Flight control and mission critical displays must meet measurement standards, such as SAE ARP4260B. At the same time as having to meet these safety standards, manufacturers must also consider an endless number of other items including cost, functionality, layout flexibility, and the complexity of display graphics and video. Meeting these standards easily, quickly, and consistently not only saves time, but also removes many of the challenges.

At Westboro Photonics we understand that consistent panel lighting results in displays that are easy to read, prolongs the pilot’s night vision, ensures pilots are not distracted from urgent data and have the ability to see outside the aircraft without being flooded with too much light. The color of lighting plays an important role here as well, with many aircraft employing red flood lighting to reduce night vision loss. Rely on our Display Testing and Uniformity Spots Packages to take precise measurements in seconds, eliminating the distraction of unnecessary software features, and enabling efficiency.

Light Plates and Backlit Graphics

Multi-function keyboards and flat panel displays are replacing backlit panels, knobs, buttons and switches in modern aviation instrumentation. Their sleek, thinner designs provide design flexibility and reduced costs, but in order to benefit from these advantages they must comply with the relevant back-illuminated cockpit graphics standards such as SAE AS7788A. Simply put, graphics and displays must be clear and easy to read.

Auto-segment individual graphics, regions or entire control surfaces with the Graphics Testing Package. Each individual character or symbol is located and evaluated using its luminance and chromaticity values, while graphic uniformity and uniformity between graphics may be evaluated using metrics such as min/max, average, standard deviation, area and more.

As an avionics panel manufacturer, benefit from the purpose-made Light Plate Balancing Packageused with imaging photometers or colorimeters to get real-time 2-D readings of backlight luminance. Operators use this information to interactively paint the panel until the light distribution is within specification. The Light Plate Balancing and Graphics Testing Packages are ideally suited for light plates and backlit graphics testing.

Head-up Displays (HUDs)

Head-Up-Display (HUD), Helmet Mounted Display (HMD) and Near-Eye Display (NED) optics enhance safety and situational awareness by projecting important flight instrument data onto a small clear screen directly in the pilot’s line of sight. HUD display technology offers significant safety-of-flight advantages in marginal or deteriorating weather conditions with reduced visibility and other environmental challenges.  Westboro’s imaging photometers and colorimeters featuring electronically-controlled lenses are an ideal solution to testing HUD systems at any working distance. For near-eye displays, Westboro offers specialized high resolution solutions for our imaging photometers.

Cabin Lighting and Signage

Uniform lighting for enhanced cabin appearance can improve passenger comfort. Dynamic color and dimming can be used to enhance experiences even more. Removal of blue light can help passengers sleep during overnight flights (melanopic adaptation). In addition, high contrast signs and indicators deliver clear information for passengers and thereby improve safety.

Chromaticity, luminance, illuminance, and intensity distribution measurements validate function.  With applications ranging from cabin ceiling, wall wash, reading lights, backlit signs and graphics, Westboro’s Photometrica Software provides the adaptability to measure and analyze all variants to ensure quality is retained from R&D to production, while the Beam Pattern Package provides you with the necessary tools to efficiently complete inspection.

Exterior Lighting

Aircraft exterior lighting typically must function with a fixed angular field of coverage for intensity or luminance and illuminance characteristics. For navigation as well as flood and spot lights Westboro’s Beam Pattern Package is designed specifically to measure the illuminance and color properties of lensed light sources. Users can report the luminous (or radiant) intensity of the test lamp in angular coordinates.