What is ISIS in Aviation? (Integrated Standby Instrument System)

The Integrated Standby Instrument System (ISIS) is a crucial component of an aircraft’s instrument panel that provides pilots with essential flight information in case of primary flight instrument failure. Also known as an Integrated Standby Unit (ISU), the ISIS serves as a backup system, ensuring the availability of critical flight data to pilots, enabling them to maintain control and safely navigate the aircraft.

The ISIS is designed to replace traditional analog standby instruments, such as the altimeter, airspeed indicator, and attitude indicator, with a single multifunction display. This advanced technology not only saves space and weight in the cockpit but also enhances the pilot’s situational awareness and provides accurate flight information, even during emergencies.

Let’s delve deeper into the features, advantages, and functions of the Integrated Standby Instrument System in aviation.

The Features and Functions of the Integrated Standby Instrument System

The Integrated Standby Instrument System incorporates various features and functions that contribute to its importance and reliability in aviation. Here are some key aspects:

1. Multifunction Display

The ISIS utilizes a multifunction display (MFD) as its primary interface, consolidating the essential flight information onto a single screen. This display presents real-time data such as altitude, airspeed, attitude, vertical speed, turn coordination, and navigation information. The MFD is designed with user-friendly controls and intuitive graphics, enabling pilots to quickly interpret and respond to the information displayed.

The integration of various flight parameters into a single display streamlines pilot decision-making and reduces the cognitive load associated with interpreting multiple analog instruments. This contributes to improved situational awareness and enhances the overall safety of flight operations.

2. Redundancy and Reliability

One of the primary advantages of the Integrated Standby Instrument System is its redundancy and reliability. In the event of a failure in the aircraft’s primary flight instruments, the ISIS seamlessly takes over, providing pilots with accurate and reliable flight data. The system is designed to be fully autonomous, independent of other aircraft systems, ensuring continuous availability of critical flight information.

To further enhance reliability, the ISIS typically incorporates backup power sources, such as battery and/or generator power. This ensures that even during electrical system failures or power loss, the system remains operational, enabling pilots to maintain control of the aircraft.

The Advantages of the Integrated Standby Instrument System

The Integrated Standby Instrument System offers several advantages over traditional analog standby instruments. Here are some notable benefits:

1. Space and Weight Savings

The ISIS replaces multiple analog instruments with a single multifunction display, resulting in significant space and weight savings in the cockpit. This reduction in physical components improves the aircraft’s performance, fuel efficiency, and payload capacity. Additionally, the simplified cockpit design enhances the pilot’s visibility and ergonomics, leading to improved overall operational efficiency.

2. Enhanced Situational Awareness

The integration of various flight parameters in the Integrated Standby Instrument System enhances the pilot’s situational awareness. By providing a comprehensive display of critical flight data, including altitude, airspeed, attitude, and navigation information, the system enables pilots to make well-informed decisions quickly and efficiently. This augmented situational awareness contributes to safer flight operations, especially during challenging or emergency situations.

3. Improved Reliability and Safety

The redundancy and reliability of the Integrated Standby Instrument System significantly contribute to flight safety. With its independent power sources and autonomous operation, the system ensures continuous availability of critical flight data, even in the event of primary instrument failure or electrical system malfunctions. Pilots can rely on the system to provide accurate and up-to-date information, enabling them to maintain control of the aircraft and safely navigate to their destination.

In addition, the ISIS undergoes rigorous testing and certification processes to meet aviation safety standards. This ensures that the system is highly reliable and capable of withstanding various operating conditions and environmental factors.


The Integrated Standby Instrument System, or ISIS, is an essential component of modern aviation. As a backup system for primary flight instrument failure, the ISIS provides pilots with critical flight information, enhancing situational awareness and ensuring the safe operation of the aircraft. With its multifunction display, redundancy, and reliability, the system offers numerous advantages, including space and weight savings, improved situational awareness, and enhanced flight safety.

The continued advancements in aviation technology are driving the evolution of integrated systems like the ISIS, further improving the efficiency and safety of flight operations. As pilots and aviators continue to rely on accurate and reliable flight data, the Integrated Standby Instrument System remains a vital tool in the cockpit, contributing to the overall success of every flight.

For more information about the Integrated Standby Instrument System and its role in aviation, visit FAA’s website.

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