August 10, 2004
Integrated Engine Instrumentation System (IEIS)
The Integrated Engine Instrumentation System (IEIS) was a
project for the Navy, sponsored by the Aircraft Engine Instruments Department.
The team photo shows Marty Fine (Elab), Dick Skovholt (AEID Engineering
Manager), Bill Cole (Navy project engineer) and Bob Glusick (E Lab). The project
was guided by a very colorful manager at Navy, Jack Wolin.
The base concept was to replace a variety of mechanical
engine instruments with computer controlled solid state display panels, a
concept now being realized in modern aircraft control. The project introduced
many new display concepts. As shown in the live CRT screen, the information was
graded most important at the top, followed by advisory in the central area, and
performance information below that. The display indicates a critical over
temperature situation which has persisted for 17 seconds. Major engine
subsystems were selected by the menu bar at the top. Below that, you can see
that the Turbine Blade Temperature (TBT) is at 926 degrees in engine 1, and the
N1 & N2 compressor speeds are nominal. Rather that jumping out of the plane, the
recommended pilot action is to "Throttle back". The 2 dimensional performance
display indicates where the engines are in Altitude / Mach-Number space, with a
recommended profile to operate within for this engine.
The actual hardware used a CRT to simulate a solid state
display, and had a separate display generator to control it. While it might have
made a lot of technical sense to drive it with a GP computer, the Navy had
strict guidelines for buying computers, and that was not an option for this
project. Therefore, the simulator control box on the right in the picture was
very intentionally not a "GP digital computer". It did have re-configurable
sequencers controlled by RAM and analog computer components to solve the
simplified engine performance differential equations.