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Spartan TRN Electronics Unit (space model)

Technical Information

Catalogue No: C1487
Category: Flight Control
Object Type: Signal/Data Processor
Object Name: Spartan TRN Electronics Unit (space model)
Part No: 53-011-01
Serial No: 001
Manufacturer: GEC Avionics
Division: Airborne Display [ADD]
Year of Manufacture: circa 1989
Dimensions: Width (mm): 190
Height (mm): 200
Depth (mm): 360
Weight (g): 8,260
Location: Rack RAA08 [Main Store]

GEC Avionics
Part 53-011-01
Ser 001


The SPARTAN system is housed in a ¾ ATR short LRU and contains a digital terrain database in excess of 600,000 square kilometres. High MTBF in excess of 3000 hours Low power consumption -less than 100 watts. This is a dummy unit. TRN = Terrain Referenced Navigation

SPARTAN is a highly accurate, flight proven automatic navigation and terrain following system to enable low level covert operations. The system reduces cockpit workload and greatly improves mission effectiveness.
Under development for over a decade and extensively flight trialled on a variety of low level aircraft, including Tornado, A6E Intruder and F16 AFTI, SPARTAN was selected by the Ministry of Defence (UK) for the RAF's Tornado mid-life update.
The elevation profile of the terrain overflown is measured by a series of covert radar altimeter samples. This profile is compared with an on- board digital terrain database to provide rapid and continuous position fixes Once an accurate navigational position has been achieved,
SPARTAN 'looks ahead' in the database and calculates a mission optimised terrain
following flight path, which can be followed either manually, using the pilot's flight director, or automatically via the aircraft autopilot

The RAA contains a number of models of equipment and aircraft. The equipment models were used as a marketing aid and often to ensure that the production unit will fit in the space; this was particularly true for Head Up Displays. Such equipment models will have minimal or no functionality. Models might  just be used as weighted units or as cockpit lighting evaluation units. The HUD used on the YF-16 was of the correct weight and envelope but only mounted the Spin 'chute button (a feature only required for the early test flights). Many of these models were made by professional model makers from the original drawings and could be quite expensive; alternatively the real hardware would be used.

The aircraft models range from the simple small scale kits to quite large display items. The large model aircraft were often a marketing tool from places like Airbus or Boeing but may be found in Boardrooms or Reception areas wheras the small models may be given as a visitor handout. Those models made from kits have largely been brought in from home but are useful to illustrate the platform alongside the equipment. The large models will be hugely expensive.

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