AutomationTech@AT: #Horizon

"Hinterm Horizont geht's weiter..." is the chorus of a song by Udo Lindenberg from the 80s. And I'm sure everyone has been in a situation where they've thought "Yeah ok.... and where on earth is up and down now?"

Pilots know the situation pretty well, especially when flying through clouds. This is exactly why smart engineers have developed the so-called artificial horizon, which is mandatory equipment for instrument flight in airplanes. Very high demands are placed on such instruments, as they have to fulfill safety-relevant functions on the one hand and be highly ergonomic on the other, so that the cognitive abilities of humans are burdened as little as possible. Modern electronic avionics devices in particular combine numerous displays in one instrument and make the development of the graphic display extremely challenging.

As part of the Automation Technology module, which deals with the fundamentals of software development for programmable logic controllers (PLCs), among other things, this year's project task was around human machine interface (HMI) design. In other words, the development of graphical displays for PLCs using the tools provided by IEC 61131-3 programming languages and the associated systems.

The project groups came up with some very interesting solutions. A very nice example is shown here by Robert S. In a one-person group, he developed a very detailed simulation of an artificial horizon in the field of avionics, which required a lot of creativity as well as PLC programming knowledge.

My opinion: Cool result, because this is not trivial with a PLC programming environment.

Author: Prof. Dr.-Ing. E. Engels

Illustrations: Robert S. | E. Engels