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FAA awards TSO certification for 5G tolerant radar altimeters
In 2019, FreeFlight launched a clean-sheet radar altimeter design to provide protection from signal interference from C Band 5G telecomms. The FAA has now issued TSO certification and there is a backlog of orders.
FreeFlight Systems’ 5G tolerant Terrain series radar altimeters receive FAA TSO certification.

FreeFlight Systems has received Technical Standard Order (TSO) certification from the FAA for its RA-6500 and RA-5500 Terrain series radar altimeters.

Since October 2021, FreeFlight Systems has been completing major certification milestones, including successful flight and Alternative Method of Compliance (AMOC) testings, while working towards receiving TSO certification. Effective 8 August, 2022 the RA-6500 dual install and RA-5500 single install Terrain series radar altimeters have been certified to meet the performance standards required for airborne low range radar altimeters.

“In 2019, foreseeing the interference to radar altimeters from C Band 5G telecommunications, we launched an innovative, clean-sheet radar altimeter design to provide protection from signal interference,” says president Anthony Rios. “We are proud to have achieved TSO certification, which allows us to better serve our industry with a modernised, rugged and flexible radar altimeter solution that currently does not exist in the market.”

Designed for all segments of aviation, including commercial transport, business and general aviation, military and defence, rotorcraft and uncrewed aviation, the Terrain series radar altimeters are the lightest, most advanced in their class with up to a 60 per cent reduction in volume from legacy units currently in the field. They will equip operators with a 5G-tolerant solution, ensuring accurate altitude measurement readings critical for safe approach and landing operations in urban and mountainous terrain. The Terrain series has demonstrated that 5G interference rejection enables users to operate aircraft safely, even in close proximity to 5G cellular towers.

The Terrain series' altitude measurement range of up to 2,500 ft and 55,000 ft service ceiling comes in a small footprint design that can easily be installed in place of legacy radar altimeters from various manufacturers. To further support a wide range of aircraft platforms, the Terrain series incorporates the latest ethernet connectivity standards for new platforms while retaining an analogue ARINC 552 interface for integration with legacy indicators and components. With existing installations in mind, the RA-5500 and RA-6500 simplify retrofit installations by supporting existing antennas, control heads and cabling as needed. For additional display options, FreeFlight Systems offers the RAD45 standalone indicator, which meets EASA AMC1 SPA.NVIS.110(b) guidelines.

“We have a considerable backlog of orders from operators and OEMs, particularly the advanced air mobility segment. Now having the TSO certification, we are ready to begin product shipments,” says Rios. “This is good timing considering the accelerating deployment of 5G networks across the country, which continues to challenge flight safety.”

FreeFlight Systems is now shipping the new Terrain series radar altimeters.

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