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ACA121 Aviation Computer Applications

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  • Course Code: ACA121
  • University: Seneca College
  • Country: Canada


Discuss about the ACA121 Aviation Computer Applications.



Flight Management System (FMS) refers to the fundamental component of the modern avionics of airliner. They are able to compute every relevant aspects of a whole flight by making use of performance databases and navigation that are stored in the unit and in the pilot entered data (Ramasamy et al., 2014). It allows the airplanes to hook up the autopilot and then maintain the heading in a few feet. On the other hand, Inertial Navigation System (INS) refers to the navigation aid which makes use of motion sensors for tacking the orientation, position and the velocity of a vehicle without the need for the external references (Wang et al., 2015). It covers the portable electronic display hardware that are intended primarily for the flight deck and the cabin usage. It is to note that Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) has got its name from the earlier pilot’s flight bag that is quite heavy documents bag which the pilots carry to the cockpit. It is the replacement of those documents in a format that is digital.

FMS is basically used in the airplanes and there are many different manufactures of the FMS. It is followed by the pilots for the purpose of navigation right after the take-off, but it is to note that the decision to fly is completely up to the pilot. The INS has an enormous variety of applications comprising of the navigation of the aircraft, strategic missiles, and spacecraft and in ships (Liu, Geng & Pahlavan, 2015). EFB could host the purpose built software applications for automating the other functions that are normally conducted by hands like performance take-off calculations. It is also to note that the EFB is the replacement of the documents in digital format. Also, the Electronic Flight Bag is a main step toward enabling the air transport system for all airplanes.

Flight Management System (FMS) is a much specialised computer system which automates a huge range of in-flight tasks, decreasing the workload on the flight crew to the point which the modern civilian aircraft do not carry the traditional navigators of flight engineers. Inertial Navigation System (INS) on the other hand, is a very long range of navigational aids. It supplies aircraft velocity (3D) and position fix (3D). It takes the measurements from the takes measurements from gyros and accelerometers and then feeds them into navigation computer which keeps a track of its acceleration. Furthermore, the electronic flight bad (EFB) refers to an electronic information management device which assists the flight crew as in performing flight management tasks in more easier ways and also efficiently, that too, with less paper (Haddock & Beckman, 2015).


Advantages and disadvantages of the technology

FMS improves navigation, aid fuel efficiency and reduce the crew workload. It allows the pilots more time to assess and make the necessary decisions. The disadvantages of FMS is there is often data entry error as it is dependent on the pilot input. With the same, there is a potential of misinterpretation data entry. Also, there is a loss of situational awareness. On the other hand, the significant advantage of INS is that integration of data lead to long-wavelength errors. It provides a precise and continuous positioning of a moving platform (Chen et al., 2018). It is a very self-contained airborne system which does not need any external BAV source. With the same, it is mechanically very simple to realise. However, it also possesses many disadvantages as well. Some of them are in this case, the errors are generated by the non orthogonaility of accelerometers and the Gyros might suffer from the EMI. Furthermore, the main advantages of the electronic flight bad (EFB) is- a) faster access to better information b) it is the world’s best user interface that increase pilot satisfaction c) there is comparatively less weight carried means more fuel savings.

FMS should be optimised for the Air Traffic Management functionality as well as must deliver more improved fuel efficiency along with reduced direct operation cost (Gardi, Sabatini & Ramasamy, 2016). With the same, there should be reduced pilot workload and much improved safety. The EFB should not be introduced with the pull and push of any FAR or proposed rule. They must be tablet based and should maximise the aircraft in the in-flight data  connectivity by means of satellite communication systems and the Aircraft Communications Reporting and Addressing system. It would be smarter, safer and much more secure. It is to note that the tablets could now function as full scales EFBs and would provide a much clearer and real time picture of the flight. The new system would also receive the required certification as well. Furthermore, the performance of INS should be improved more by making use of magnetometer with the Vehicle Dynamic Constraints.



Chen, Q., Niu, X., Zuo, L., Zhang, T., Xiao, F., Liu, Y., & Liu, J. (2018). A railway track geometry measuring trolley system based on aided INS. Sensors, 18(2), 538.

Gardi, A., Sabatini, R., & Ramasamy, S. (2016). Multi-objective optimisation of aircraft flight trajectories in the ATM and avionics context. Progress in Aerospace Sciences, 83, 1-36.

Haddock, K. N., & Beckman, W. S. (2015). The effect of electronic flight bag use on pilot performance during an instrument approach. Collegiate Aviation Review, 33(1), 1-13.

Liu, G., Geng, Y., & Pahlavan, K. (2015, February). Effects of calibration RFID tags on performance of inertial navigation in indoor environment. In Computing, Networking and Communications (ICNC), 2015 International Conference on(pp. 945-949). IEEE.

Ramasamy, S., Sabatini, R., Gardi, A., & Kistan, T. (2014). Next generation flight management system for real-time trajectory based operations. Applied Mechanics and Materials, 629, 344-349.

Wang, B., Ren, Q., Deng, Z. H., & Fu, M. (2015). A Self-Calibration Method for Nonorthogonal Angles Between Gimbals of Rotational Inertial Navigation System. IEEE Trans. Industrial Electronics, 62(4), 2353-2362.


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