Engineer Story: Sean Cowan

by Sean Cowan on 02/04/2020

Working at L3Harris, I am proud of our contribution to the aviation industry. We have a history of servicing our customers with exceptional quality. Our Flight Recorders, for example, have an excellent record over many decades in terms of providing vital data to accident investigators.

I manage System Engineers in the Aviation Products division working out of St. Petersburg, Phoenix, Grand Rapids and Columbus. We work on every AP product at every product lifecycle stage. Currently several members of the team are working across sites on the next generation of flight recorders for air transport. Other systems engineers are working on the new EFD-750 Standby Display or with ACSS on new capabilities for the Lynx NGT-9000 system, or integration of our AFIRS 228S Iridium SATCOM System on a new aircraft platform, the Airbus Canada A220. The team also provides considerable technical capabilities and certification expertise in support of our line of Standby Displays, FA line of Flight Recorders, SRVIVR line of military recorders and instruments like commercial and military gyros.

Future capabilities we are working on include utilizing our products for data analytics that can then be used in our pilot training systems. We are also actively looking to implement new capabilities such as autonomous distress tracking applications with our next generation recorder as the host equipment. We represent L3Harris in Global Aeronautical Distress and Safety System (GADSS) working groups with the industry aim to provide rescue and recovery operations with quicker and more accurate position information of aircraft than ever before.

To carry out a successful project, we have to ensure that the systems requirements we develop provide a comprehensive specification for synthesis into product design. We are heavily involved in the verification and validation. It is also our responsibility to review our processes, guidelines, plans and standards, checking if they live up to required quality assurance and lead to successful certification. .There is an incredible sense of pride in delivering an excellent service. There is a lot of gratification from taking these complex projects and finding simple to use solutions for our customers.

In fact I believe that majority of the System Engineers’ favourite activity is to communicate with our customers. Our customers from General Aviation to Air Transport giants are impressed with the dedication and knowledge that we have. There is a lot of rigor to what we do in Systems Engineering. It is a complex job and very gratifying. I think you can always improve and we always aim for constant improvement.