It’s a serious situation for pilots. If cabin depressurization occurs in an aircraft at high altitude, they have a short period of useful consciousness in which to put on their oxygen masks. Without supplemental oxygen, human cognitive and motor skills decline quickly, so they can be incapacitated, or worse, due to hypoxia.
In the ongoing effort to ward off this life-threatening scenario, Avalex Technologies developed the Cabin Pressure Oxygen Warning System (CPOWS), which was designed to give pilots sufficient notification of low-oxygen conditions. This system proved its merit recently, when put through repeated, rigorous, in-flight testing onboard U.S. Armed Forces aircraft.
With hypoxia being of special concern to U.S. Armed Forces, the Avalex CPOWS solution was brought in to support their United States Air Force F-15 Sustainment Program. As part of this program, Avalex recently logged three full flight missions on the F-15E platform, testing the ASI9122E Cabin Pressure Oxygen Warning System (CPOWS), with an additional two missions on the F-15C platform. The tests were rigorous and the results overwhelming positive, showing a 100-percent rate of success.
“I’m very proud to announce that the units successfully measured cabin pressurization at altitudes in excess of 50,000 feet on both platforms,” said Don Woods, Avalex Program Manager. “While in flight test, the ASI9122E provided warning-function indicators, which alerted the pilots to any potential cabin-pressure anomalies. The monitoring capability also ensured that the aircraft provided oxygen levels to the aircrew in accordance with MIL-STD-3050.”
To date, Avalex has flown nine sorties on the F-15C, totaling 15.3 flight hours, and 24 sorties on the F-15E, totaling 26.7 flight hours. Given the CPOWS’ life-saving potential and demonstrated robustness, there are plans to continue its implementation on other F-15 aircraft.