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Kimberly W. Land
(Phone 757/864-9885, 757/344-8611 mobile)

RELEASE NO. 03-053

July 31, 2003

Tuesday, August 5

Automated electronic control systems or avionics allow lighter, more efficient aircraft to operate more effectively in the current and future airspace system. Liquid crystal displays (LCDs) and other advanced technologies are used in highly integrated modular avionics systems. However, such technologies assign more flight critical functions requiring higher levels of integrity, integration, and fault tolerance on aircraft.

Cary R. Spitzer, president, AvioniCon, Inc., Williamsburg, Va., will speak on "Avionics: the Enabling Technology in Modern Aircraft" at a colloquium at 2 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 5, at NASA Langley's H.J.E. Reid Conference Center.

Media Briefing: A media briefing will be held at 1:15 p.m. at the H.J.E. Reid Conference Center, 14 Langley Blvd., NASA Langley Research Center. Members of the media who wish to attend should contact Kimberly W. Land at (757) 864-9885 or 344-8611 (mobile) for credentials.

Spitzer will discuss and compare the avionics architectures for the B-777 and the F-22 aircraft. The B-777 has flight critical all-electronic displays, but there are no mechanical instruments on the aircraft. Also, he will explain the similarities between the Space Shuttle and F-16 that have flight-critical fly-by-wire systems.

In 1993, Spitzer founded AvioniCon, an international avionics-consulting firm that specializes in avionics systems architectures, strategic planning, business development, and in-house training.

Before retiring from NASA Langley in 1994, Spitzer spent the last half of his tenure focused on avionics. He was the NASA manager of a joint NASA and Honeywell program that made the first satellite-guided, automatic landing of a passenger transport aircraft in November 1990. Spitzer is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA).



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