July 10, 2012

Pilot’s project becomes Air Force standard

by A1C Charles V. Rivezzo
Dyess AFB, Texas
Courtesy photograph

Capt. Kyle Alderman, a C-130 Hercules, pictured here, aircraft pilot, consolidated multiple map displays into one heads-up digital map, providing C-130J aircrews one-look situational awareness and enhanced digital map capabilities.

When Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton A. Schwartz says every airman is an innovator, he’s talking about airmen like Capt. Kyle Alderman.

The young C-130 pilot’s pet project has become the Air Force standard.

Alderman consolidated multiple map displays – including killbox keypads, satellite and drop zone imagery and probability ellipses – into one heads-up digital map, giving C-130J Hercules aircrews one-look situational awareness and enhanced digital map capabilities.

“The J-model already had the capability to display map information; however, when we would operate in Afghanistan or in large-scale exercises, there was so much tactical information, we needed multiple maps and displays,” Alderman said. “It was very task-saturating for pilots to sort through several items while still trying to operate the aircraft, especially at night or in hostile environments.”

Alderman noticed the issue in early 2010 while attending C-130J school at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., and began researching and educating himself on the programming the aircraft would need to make his “digi-map” possible. He found some geospatial software and figured out that he could build his own map that the plane could read while incorporating the several displays into one consolidated moving map.

“Once I was able to create the format I needed, I got it on the plane, saw that it worked, proved it was possible and then tried to get it approved through the Air Force,” he said.

Shortly after putting the finishing touches on his project, Alderman deployed and decided to take the new software with him.

“I showed my deployed commander that we can give our pilots the capability to display this information in a consolidated format,” he said. “He loved it and pushed it up the chain of command, which exponentially increased the process.”

After the new software was tested on aircraft and proven effective in January 2011, Alderman’s innovative project was flown for the first time during combat operations that summer.

Alderman said he just wanted to contribute any way he could to the mission.

“If I can save one brain byte and let the pilots focus on something else during their mission because they could see the information quickly on the digital map, it was well worth the time spent trying to get it designed and approved,” he said.

All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.



Defense cuts could hit civilian workforce

Tens of thousands of civilian employees in the Defense Department could receive warnings about potential layoffs four days before the November election if impending spending cuts aren’t averted, hitting presidential battleground states such as Virginia and Florida hard. The alerts would come in addition to any that major defense contractors might send out at the...
Air Force photograph by SSgt. William P. Coleman

Training exercises enhance international relations

Air Force photograph by SSgt. William P. Coleman Colombian air force Kfir aircraft prepare for a mission during Red Flag 12-4 July 18, 2012, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. A U.S. Air Force pilot rides in the backseat of a Kfir ...

Airbus owner EADS ups targets, delays A350

Airbus parent company EADS NV July 27 announced a further delay to its new A350 aircraft as it reported second-quarter earnings that almost quadrupled from a year ago. Net profit at the Leiden, Netherlands-based European Aeronautic Defence & Space Company was $567 million, up from $148 million in the same period a year ago. Sales...

Courtesy photograph

Boeing receives 10th WGS satellite order from U.S. Air Force

Courtesy photograph The Wideband Global SATCOM satellite is the successor to the Defense Satellite Communications System-III. One WGS satellite has about 12 times the bandwidth of a DSCS-III satellite. EL SEGUNDO, Calif. –...

Lockheed Martin’s Gyrolinkâ„¢ selected for U.S. Army’s R-VOSS program

Lockheed Martin has been awarded a $21.4 million contract from the U.S. Army for its commercial GyroLinkâ„¢ system for the Remote – Vehicle Optics Sensor System program. GyroLink provides a real-time full motion video network that transmits video across military vehicles at significant distances. This allows members of a route-clearance patrol to use monitors inside...

News Briefs – July 30, 2012

Mechanical failure blamed in Arizona Harrier crash Military officials say early findings point to mechanical failure in the crash of a U.S. Marine Corps Harrier attack jet on a training mission in southwestern Arizona. The AV-8B Harrier went down July 25 afternoon about 15 miles northwest of the Marine Corps Air Station Yuma near the...


Be the first to comment!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>