Hugh Blair-Smith

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What comes after NextGen? Two of the biggest trends in the technical world at large are the urge to decrease chemical energy use and the mushrooming tendency to exploit knowledge, which could be called increasing the use of mental energy. This paper takes the view that avionics must lead in applying the appropriate paradigm shifts to aviation. One of the(More)
Two trends are rumbling down parallel runways in the new century, likely to take off close to simultaneously. One is the reduction or elimination of flight-deck crew, at least in some flights. The other is the reduction or elimination of fossil-fuel power and its replacement by renewable power. A third trend, unification of national airspaces into a global(More)
The Space Shuttle control system (including the avionics suite) was developed during the 1970s to meet stringent survivability requirements that were then extraordinary but today may serve as a standard against which modern avionics can be measured. In 30 years of service, only two major malfunctions have occurred, both due to failures far beyond the reach(More)
“Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.” Two obscure errors almost prevented these words from being spoken. The errors were not made by the crew of Apollo 11 or by the controllers in Houston, nor were they made during the mission. Rather, they were made by engineers and managers, years before the flight. How they happened, and(More)
511mmury Some logical aspects of a digital computer for a space vehicle ;ire de3cribed. and the evolution of its logical design is traced. The intended ;rpplir:ution and the characteristics of the computer's ancestry fornl a frame\vork for the design, which is filled in by accumulation of the many decisions made by its designers. This paper deals with the(More)
Convergence of data services is revolutionizing communications considered as a distinct discipline, but the greater revolution over the decades to come will be the blurring or even erasure of the boundary lines between disciplines. A major driver of this trend is the projected need for drastic reductions in the use of energy, especially by airlines and(More)
Resiliency has been built into airframes and systems with accelerating success. The art of building resiliency into the human element on the flight deck has also advanced since the days of lone pilots, but not as dramatically. The teamwork of Captain and First Officer has achieved much, even recovering from the removal of Second Officers after their flight(More)
What may well be the most famous ten-word utterance of the 20th century came to us from the Moon-or was it eleven words? Neil Armstrong intended to say, and thought he did say, “One small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind,” but everybody heard it without that minimal word “a”-or was it really everybody?. The answers may(More)
Sooner or later, the practices we call “green” will have to expand from the token gestures we make today (turning down the thermostat and driving hybrids) to a nearly universal avoidance of oxidizing fossil carbon. In terms of aviation, it's time to start thinking about how to move people and goods, in commercial quantities, with a zero-carbon(More)