Aeroflex introduced the ALT-8000, the world’s first RF-based portable radio altimeter flightline test set. The ALT-8000 is a lightweight universal test set for 4.3 GHz frequency modulated continuous carrier wave (FMCW) radio altimeters and pulse radio altimeters with a large 12-inch color touch screen for ease of use.

The ALT-8000 is the first flightline test system of its kind. A breakthrough in avionics test technology, the ALT-8000 is an inexpensive, portable simulator for testing radio altimeters installed in aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). Until now, flightline test sets have not been RF-based and have only tested the analog or digital back-end of the receiver via test port signal injection. Existing RF-based test systems have been confined to bench test applications and rely upon heavy, bulky and expensive delay lines to check altitude indications at one or two fixed points.

By contrast, the ALT-8000 is easy to use and can be carried to the flightline. The ALT-8000 may be directly coupled to the radio altimeter transmitter/receiver (TX/RX) ports or may be connected via supplied TX/RX antenna couplers, which accommodate most aircraft antenna variants. As a result, faulty radio altimeter system elements can be identified faster. Problems are identified with a positive diagnosis and a confirmed resolution, reducing no fault found (NFF) occurrences and reducing the airline line replaceable units (LRU) inventory.