This idea is inspired by, and is a more practical alternative to "Airplane Controls overlay" See link.
Device: A keypad + Laser pointer combination.
The Keypad electronics knows each item's position by the number. The person on the tower has to just give out the number of the item..
the person trying to land the plane can just key it in and the laser pointer fit on the wall behing the pilots does it's job of pointing it.
The Keypad + Laser can be powered from the plane , though will carry a small battery pack just in case. except for that part, the system is completely independant from the rest of the electronics on the plane.
The beauty of the idea is that it is quick. The number can come from a multitude of sources. The following list is ordered in a descending fashion of quickness.
1. The person on the tower can look up item numbers on a computer screen by moving the mouse cursor over the corresponding part on an image of the cockpit.
2. The person on the tower can look up the numbers on a large sheet where the numbers are overlayed on the image of the cockpit, which is kept as a backup if the computer goes down. This is still quicker than the next method because the guy in the tower knows the cockpit well.
3. The emergency manual in the cockpit can mention the number of the item every time it is mentioned in the book.
4. There can also be a complete index (both digital and printed) of items against their numbers, if the person is getting instructions from someone who does not have access to the numbers.-- kamathln,
Nov 21 2008
Airplane controls overlay
Airplane_20controls_20overlayInspiration. [kamathln, Nov 21 2008]
a) anyone standing behind the pilot will block the beam,
b) if the pilot turns to speak to someone behind her, she may blind herself, and
c) why not just have the system light up something on the dash?-- phoenix,
Nov 22 2008
Hmm. Yeah. Hadn't thought of the blocking/blinding part. The laser can rest on the top instead of back. That way both obstruction and blinding part will be minimised. It's motors can be restricted from reaching the eyes. You can also replace the laser with a nicely focused bright LED torch.
//why not just have the system light up something on the dash?//
If you want the system to light up on the dash, the wiring must be messy, and has to interact physically with remaining electronics.
This is something I wanted to avoid. Even if half the cockpit items are suffering shortened cirquits, the simple keypad/pointer combination being very simplistic in nature will have a really low possibility of being affected by them.
As I said in the main idea , it //can be powered from the plane , though will carry a small battery pack just in case.// I would like to add that it carries a small tripper which can trip the power supply coming from the plane if it finds it damaging.
Also, it will be easier to introduce these in existing planes.-- kamathln,
Nov 22 2008