+VIDEO The onslaught of new product from Garmin continues with the GWX 80, a new weather radar that incorporates automated atmospheric threat assessment capabilities to help reduce pilot workload in the cockpit.

Intended for business, commercial and military aircraft, the Doppler-based GWX 80 incorporates automatic 3D volumetric scanning, predictive wind shear detection, hail and lightning prediction, and advanced ground clutter suppression.

A new, enhanced colour palette also features more color contouring than any other weather radar on the market. The GWX 80 provides real-time weather information to help pilots analyze convective weather threats, which aids in situational awareness and helps reduce aircraft operational costs.

Cessna Longitude
The GWX 80 has been selected by Textron Aviation for the new super-midsize Cessna Citation Longitude in conjunction with the G5000 integrated flight deck (below). Photos: Textron Aviation

Cessna Longitude Garmin G5000 cockpit

“With the GWX 80, we’re excited to bring a virtually zero-effort weather radar to the cockpit of thousands of new and existing aircraft on the market today,” said Carl Wolf, Garmin vice president of aviation sales and marketing.

“Equipped with automated 3D volumetric scanning, the GWX 80 goes beyond hail and lightning prediction to also display severe cells that may contain wind shear or turbulence. With these tools, pilots achieve greater situational awareness so they can more confidently navigate around severe weather threats and provide passengers with a better in-flight experience.”

Garmin GWX 80
Garmin’s new GWX 80 weather radar.

Automated weather radar with 3D volumetric scanning

The GWX 80 weather radar features advanced automation technology, which allows the pilot to more easily manage the weather radar while in-flight. The GWX 80 merges 3D volumetric scanning with advanced ground clutter suppression and automatically adjusts the tilt of the weather radar to create the most representative depiction of flight hazards near or along the flight path of the aircraft. Because tilt management is fully automated, the GWX 80 prevents pilots from over scanning or under scanning – common errors when managing a weather radar in-flight. Pilots simply select the range of interest and the GWX 80 gathers multiple scans at various tilt angles to display a comprehensive, easier to interpret weather radar image. The GWX 80 offers a range of 320 nautical miles, horizontal scan angles of up to 120 degrees and to focus on an area of interest, pilot-adjustable sector scanning.

Predictive wind shear identification

Wind shear detection provides pilots with an additional look into the storm by detecting a combination of updrafts and downdrafts and Doppler-effect that result in wind shear formation, which is fully automated throughout the take-off and landing phases of flight. Pilots receive aural wind shear notifications, as well as visual indications on a dedicated Garmin display using a standard format.

Turbulence detection and hail/lightning prediction

Utilizing the GWX 80, pilots can more confidently navigate around challenging weather with advanced features such as Doppler-enabled turbulence detection, as well as hail and lightning prediction, which allow for more precise weather interpretation. Turbulence detection helps pilots more easily identify turbulence in air that contains moisture or particulates, while WATCH® (Weather Attenuated Color Highlight) helps to identify shadowing effects of short-range cell activity and highlights areas where radar returns are weakened or attenuated by intense precipitation. Additionally, zero blind range aids in the identification of storm cells in close proximity to the aircraft. The GWX 80 also incorporates unique technology that detects certain atmospheric conditions that may lead to the formation of hail and lightning within a storm cell. The color-coded depiction of potential areas where hail and lightning may reside or develop within a storm is depicted out to an 80 nautical mile range, while turbulence is depicted out to a 40 nautical mile range.

A high-definition color palette helps pilots more easily interpret the severity of an individual storm cell or multiple storm cells in an area, which incorporates four times more color gradients than typically found on other weather radars on the market. The GWX 80 is also among the lightest weather radar in its class at 13.9 lbs (6.3 kg) for the 14-inch version, providing additional savings in weight compared to other weather radar systems on the market.

Garmin expects to receive Technical Standard Order (TSO) certification of the GWX 80 by the end of the year. For additional information, visit the Garmin exhibit (C12412) at the National Business Aviation Association Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE) in Las Vegas, Nevada, October 10-12, 2017 or contact aviation.sales@garmin.com.