Garmin® International has introduced the GWX™ 8000 StormOptix weather radar that delivers extensive weather threat analysis and depiction to the cockpit. The system reduces pilot workload by providing an automated clear representation of weather by using an enhanced color palette now offering 16 colors, 3D volumetric scanning, hail and lightning prediction, advanced ground clutter suppression, and optional predictive wind shear detection. The GWX 8000 StormOptix weather radar provides pilots with a complete picture of weather while eliminating the requirement to manually adjust the radar, resulting in easier weather interpretation and a more simplified operation.
The development process for the GWX 8000 StormOptix weather radar involved complex research and flight test programs, including five years of development to optimize StormOptix™ autoscan technology and enable simplified operation. Garmin thoroughly flight tested the technology in the most challenging operational conditions including strati-form rain, mild rain, severe thunderstorms, hail, lightning, windshear conditions, and more to verify performance. Further, Garmin tested the technology in environments conducive to producing ground clutter in order to verify the GWX 8000 StormOptix weather radar can consistently eliminate nonweather returns, ultimately offering pilots a cleaner, clear image that allows them to focus on navigating challenging weather conditions. The tireless effort of developing and rigorously testing the GWX 8000 StormOptix results in a solution that brings an easy to use weather radar solution to a broader array of aircraft, from turbine-powered Part 25 platforms to high-performance Part 23 aircraft.
Carl Wolf, Garmin vice president of aviation sales and marketing, said that they are excited and proud to offer owners and operators an advanced weather radar solution that provides a comprehensive and clear depiction of weather with virtually no effort from the pilot. The StormOptix weather radar can go beyond many popular weather radar systems by leveraging its autoscan technology to display severe storm cells in unparalleled detail in addition to depicting storms which may contain wind shear, turbulence, as well as lightning and hail prediction. With these advanced technologies, pilots can reduce workload while making timely decisions to more confidently navigate around significant weather.
StormOptix automated weather radar
The GWX 8000 StormOptix weather radar features an advanced automation technology which allows the pilot to manage the weather radar more easily while in-flight. StormOptix merges 3D volumetric scanning with advanced ground clutter suppression and automatically adjusts the tilt of the weather radar to simplify operation and create the most representative depiction of flight hazards near or along the flight path of the aircraft.
Enhanced color palette
A high-definition color palette provides greater color contouring to help pilots more easily interpret the severity of an individual storm cell or multiple storm cells in an area, without requiring the pilot to adjust the radar gain. This enhanced color palette incorporates 16 colors, four times more than typically found in other weather radars on the market to provide a clearer picture for operation around significant weather, ultimately enhancing safety by simplifying the interpretation of information.
Other important features of the GWX 8000 StormOptix weather radar to owners and operators include:
- Turbulence detection and hail/lightning prediction
As a standard feature, GWX 8000 StormOptix provides owners and operators a unique technology that detects certain atmospheric conditions that can lead to hail and lightning development within a cell. For a more comfortable passenger experience, turbulence detection helps pilots more easily identify turbulence inflight by recognizing air that contains moisture or particulates.
- Identify shadowing effects
Weather Attenuated Color Highlight (WATCH®) technology helps pilots identify shadowing effects of cell activity and highlights areas where radar returns are weakened or attenuated by intense precipitation, giving pilots added confidence when navigating weather threats.
- Lightweight design
The GWX 8000 StormOptix weather radar is also among the lightest weather radar in its class at 12.9 lbs (6.3 kg) for the 14-inch version, providing additional savings in weight compared to other weather radar systems on the market.
- Multiple antenna array sizes
The GWX 8000 StormOptix will be available in a 10-, 12-, 14-, and 18-inch model to meet the demands of several aircraft configurations.
- Predictive wind shear identification
Optional predictive wind shear provides pilots with an additional look into the storm by detecting a combination of updrafts and downdrafts and Doppler-effect that result in wind shear formation, which is fully automated throughout the take-off and landing phases of flight. Pilots receive aural wind shear notifications, as well as visual indications on a dedicated Garmin display using a standard format.
The GWX 8000 StormOptix weather radar will be available on select G5000 platforms in Q2, with compatibility for other Garmin avionics systems expected to follow later this year.
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