By Andréa Barretto/Diálogo July 25, 2018 The Brazilian Air Force (FAB, in Portuguese) keeps up with technological advances with the Aerial Mission Planning (PMA II, in Portuguese) software to plan aerial operations. FAB developed PMA II through the Department of Defense’s Institute for Advanced Studies (IEAv, in Portuguese). “Of course we can still operate without PMA II. However, its operational impact is significant, as it improves the performance of aerial missions, saves resources, and refines operational instruction of combat crews, among other benefits,” said FAB Colonel Lester de Abreu Faria, commandant of IEAv. With PMA II, pilots can design aerial scenarios based on the needs of a mission to allow commanders to plan and make decisions. All FAB’s aerial and anti-aircraft defense units use PMA II for routine operations, exercises, and joint operations, Col. Lester said. With the tool, pilots can look at several aircraft flight plans at once to check for conflicts. “The Research and Flight Test Institute, FAB’s Smoke Squadron, and the Aeronautics Specialist School also use the software,” the officer added. In addition to planning, PMA II allows for detailed analysis of completed aerial missions. Before the software’s creation, post-flight analysis relied on memorized information from each pilot on exercises performed and operational developments. Installed on desktop computers, PMA II enables officers to carry out mission planning and analysis on land. While the software is not a resource aboard the aircraft, part of FAB’s most modern fleet will integrate the software within the aircraft’s systems. Some of the planning achieved through PMA II will be transferable to the aircraft, allowing pilots to consult the data during flights. The software has already been integrated into the A-29 Super Tucano, A-1M light attack fighters, and F-5M Tiger aircraft. By 2019, H-36 Caracal helicopters will also feature PMA II. FAB, the Brazilian Navy, and the Brazilian Army purchased the rotary-wing aircraft through the H-XBR program that equipped the Armed Forces with 50 state-of-the-art helicopters—the program of the Ministry of Defense acquires helicopters and technology transfers. Its objective is to train the Brazilian aerospace industry in the technology required to develop and manufacture helicopters. H-XBR included the integration of PMA II into the systems of the new helicopters, which an IEAv team will carry out. “Other FAB acquisitions, such as the KC-390 aircraft, are also scheduled for integration with PMA II, whose manufacturers will carry out,” Col. Lester said. The H-36 Caracal, a high-tech rotary-wing aircraft, is the only aerial asset of FAB capable of in-flight refueling. FAB will be able to schedule and include the task in the mission plan created with PMA II. The pilot carries out air-to-air refueling by activating a probe on the nose of the helicopter that extends to reach the tank of the aircraft. The in-flight refueling allows for longer flight range and reduces the need to return to base. “This feature, among others, puts the H-36 [Caracal] at the service of our people at any time during a public disaster or plane crash. As such, we have a greater response capability,” said FAB Lieutenant Colonel Eduardo Barrios, commander of the Puma Squadron. The unit that specializes in search and rescue operations was among the first to receive the H-36 Caracal helicopters in 2015. IEAv’s projects An IEAv team developed PMA II between 2008 and 2016. Col. Lester credited the success of PMA II to the alignment of operational and technical knowledge between IEAv researchers and Air Force officers, as well as the close contact kept with software end-users. The team that developed PMA II works on other IEAv’s projects, but remains available for maintenance and support of the software. Among the projects underway at the institute, Col. Lester highlighted a tool that would enable the simulation of operational scenarios of interest to FAB. “This tool/simulated environment will include a series of tools to support decision making and artificial intelligence to enhance results, preparation, and the use of force as a whole,” he said. The technology is still in the early stages, yet the officer believes in its operational potential for FAB, just like with PMA II.
Published on November 29, 2011 at 12:00 pm Comments While some brave shoppers were out early Friday in search of the best Black Friday deals, at least one person went out of his or her way to send a message.The Christopher Columbus monument, located in Columbus Square in downtown Syracuse, was vandalized Friday. Red paint was splashed on the monument as well as the message: ‘500 years of genocide and imperialism; wake up.’Syracuse Police Department spokesman Sgt. Tom Connellan said police were notified early Friday that there was damage to the monument. They filed a police report and a detective is working on the case. So far, he said there are no suspects and no indication as to what the graffiti means.The Columbus monument was built in 1934 by Italian immigrants as a tribute to Columbus, according to the Preservation Association of Central New York’s website. The Italian-Americans wanted to dedicate the monument to the city of Syracuse as thanks for finding work there upon immigrating to America. It has been the focal point of downtown Columbus Square since its completion.Pete O’Connor, commissioner of the Syracuse Department of Public Works, said after they were notified of the vandalism, he sent a crew to take off the paint.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text‘There’s a city crew called Steel Trades,’ O’Connor said. ‘They have painters, carpenters, electricians and plumbers. Since the monument involved paint, we called on them to get it off using a high-powered steam gun.’The workers determined that whoever vandalized the statue filled balloons and latex gloves with paint and threw them at the monument, according to a Nov. 25 article by The Post-Standard.O’Connor said it took his crew about five hours to completely remove the paint. The bronze sculpture of Columbus atop the monument, which stands at 11 feet tall, was splashed with paint, so the crew used a bucket truck to remove it.The Department of Public Works crew was done by 11 a.m. and then they completed the rest of the work they were scheduled to do that day.O’Connor said it was fairly easy for his crew to remove all the paint because of the cooler temperature Thursday night into Friday morning. Had it been any warmer, the paint would have been sticky, and it would have been harder for the crew to remove.This isn’t the first time there have been vandalized buildings in the area, Sgt. Connellan said, but ‘this was a specific act of public vandalism.’In Oct. 2010, the door of the Westcott Community Center was sprayed with white paint and graffiti. It was the third incident in three weeks in the Westcott area. But Connellan said graffiti usually isn’t a problem.He said: ‘We usually get calls about petty graffiti on public or private property, but it’s almost always sporadic occurrences.’[email protected] Facebook Twitter Google+