Product Overview: PGS Replay Software

December 04, 2020 | BY: Nick Churchill


Product Overview: PGS Replay Software by Nick Churchill - Technical Support Manager at Curtiss-Wright.

Video transcript for the hearing and visually impaired

Hi. My name is Nick Churchill. I'm the Technical Support Manager at Curtiss-Wright's Penny & Giles business unit.  
This is a short video to show an overview of the replay software which is compatible with Curtiss-Wright crash-survivable recorders, which include our MPFR range of recorders and our Fortress range of crash recorders.  
The software is called Professional Ground Station or PGS and the data from flights can be viewed and analysed using this.  
There are three variants of PGS. There's Discovery for a single aircraft, Vision for multiple aircraft and PGS Analysis for flight data monitoring and crash investigations. Vision is the most popular variant and is used by the majority of our customers. 3D replay is also available as an add-on which graphically shows the flight.
So the MPFR recorders are combined Cockpit Voice and Flight Data Recorders and the flight data is recorded via an ARINC-717 stream and some of them can also record ARINC-429 data. These can all now be retrofitted with a 90-day underwater locater beacon as well.
So the Fortress range of recorders are the newest range and comply with all the new and upcoming legislation, have 90-day beacons but also record 25 hours of cockpit voice recordings which is now mandated in certain settings.

They also have the added capability of recording images and they also record datalink information as well as all the standard functions of a crash recorder such as 717, FDR and cockpit voice.

They are also a drop-in replacement for MPFR, so customers looking to upgrade to a newer model or have this added functionality can buy Fortress and use it as a drop in replacement for MPFR.

So once these units have been on a flight and recorded the data, what the customer will do is disconnect the main connector from the recorder and connect a ground replay cable. They will connect that to the ethernet port of a laptop and power it via a 28-volt DC bench supply.

So if they can get to the connectors while the recorder is still in situ on the aircraft, that's a possibility or they can remove it completely and download the data on a bench. The way it works is the recorders have got a built-in web interface. So on your PC you would open up Internet Explorer, for example, type in the IP address for the recorder and that will open up what we call the MTI interface. So this is what they will see on the computer, and they can do various things using the MTI interface including downloading all the data that has been recorded for a specific flight.

So once they have got that flight data, they will open up PGS and they use PGS to analyze data from the recorder. The first thing they need to do is they need to have the parameter database for the aircraft that has recorded the data. So the parameter database tells PGS which flight data parameters have been recorded for a specific aircraft. So each aircraft has its own parameter database. So we load that database into PGS and that way PGS can make sense of the data that has been recorded.

So what they will do intitially is go into database manager, and they will look for the database for that particular aircraft, in my case it's an EC-135, and select it. Then they will go into fleet management and they will open up the file for that particular aircraft and select the flight that they want to view the data from. So here there's two, so pick the flight we want and select it.

And that gives us graphical representation of the data that has been recorded. So the parameters are on the left hand side and the timeline is down the bottom. So if we go to the flight data, for example here we can see pressure altitude, so we can zoom in on a particular part of that data and we can see what height the aircraft was at at a particular time  during the flight.

So what we will do is play this data now and so you will see on the left-hand side the timeline coming in. And just playing through the data if we get to an interesting part of the data where something's happening. So this is where if you look at pressure altitudes, the aircraft is ascending. And then what we're going to do is show you the 3D view of what was happening during that part of the flight.

So that's the instrumentation panel for the point in the flight that we selected. So we can see what was going on on the instrumentation panel and then we can go to the external view and we can look at the aircraft itself to see what was happening at that part of the flight. So here we can see aircraft descending and we can see the flight path it took. We can zoom all around the aircraft. We can drag the dursor around to look where we want. And also we can zoom all the way out and see where the flight took place in the world. So then if we go back to the graphical view we can pick another interesting point where the aircraft was descending - go back to the 3D view. And there we see the aircraft coming in to land. And again we can zoom out and look at the path that it took.

Okay, so PGS Version 5.8.0 is now available and it includes all of the latest Fortress versions. So it can analyze the data from all of the Fortress family of crash recorders. It has also improved the audio processing time, so it has reduced the processing time needed to listen to the cockpit voice audio. Just quickly, the contacts at the P&G business unit - for new opportunities for customers that don't already have crash recorders, that are looking for one, Steve Leaper is the guy to go to, that's his email address there ( And for existing customers, for Fortress or MPFR-based queries, the technical service team is myself ( or Jordan Blake ( And Jordan is our main guy when it comes to questions about PGS. Okay, thank you very much for watching.

Author’s Biography

Nick Churchill

Product Marketing Manager

Nick Churchill works for Curtiss-Wright in the role of Product Marketing Manager. He has a degree in Electronic Engineering, and has been working in Avionic production, engineering and management roles for 10 years and he is a pressure measurement specialist. His role as product manager for Curtiss Wrights Air Data range, keeps him in close contact with the latest developments in the industry and current avionic technology . In previous engineering roles he has been involved with the development of Curtiss Wrights latest Air Data Computer and has designed and built several pressure measurement test systems for use in Curtiss Wrights production department. His current research interests include data acquisition, crash survivable recorders and avionics systems and he is the author of several of academic papers and magazine articles.

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