Centurion Consulting (USA) developed a steering-assist-module upgrade of autopilot systems.
General aviation aircraft such as single-engine, business jets, and turboprop aircraft in some form have an autopilot system.
Larger commercial aircraft too have autopilots, but are much more advanced and are able to steer the plane if needed by using GPS navigation or other navigational methods.
In general aviation aircraft, autopilots are considered “dumb” since they only keep the plane on the steady path and nothing more.
Although these GPS systems and autopilot features come standard on the majority of General Aviation Aircraft, there is currently no way for these devices to communicate with each other without the expensive systems found on commercial jets.
Even though pilots now have good navigational awareness through GPS, pilots can greatly benefit from a GPS based autopilot system. With the help of Rabbit Semiconductor from Dominion Electronics , autopilots can be enabled to have the advanced benefits of GPS navigation.
Inside SAM (Steering Assist Module) resides 2 Rabbit RCM3100 RabbitCores processing a variety of functions. One Rabbit RCM3100 RabbitCore is dedicated in steering the autopilot, while the other Rabbit RCM3100 handles the pilot input switches, voicing messages and display functionality.
SAM couples two independent systems as well as other inputs such as external sensors, to allow the autopilot to precisely guide the aircraft through GPS approaches and way-points.
As the aircraft approaches GPS way-points, one of SAM’s Rabbit RCM3100s processes the GPS outputs and sends usable instructions to the autopilot, which will adjust the course of the aircraft with ground speed and wind currents taken into account. The other Rabbit RCM3100 handles pilot input, voice messaging and information display.