Rockwell Collins demos safety capabilities of synthetic vision on military helicopters
- Enhancement to CAAS cockpit helps pilots navigate at low altitudes
After a series of highly successful flight tests, Rockwell Collins is helping military helicopter pilots get one step closer to using synthetic vision to more safely navigate their aircraft during hazardous, low-altitude missions.
Synthetic vision technology, which provides flight crews with better situational awareness in degraded visibility conditions and over unfamiliar territory, was integrated into the Rockwell Collins Common Avionics Architecture System (CAAS) for recent flight tests on a U.S. Army UH-60L Black Hawk helicopter. Advanced data management algorithms, high-resolution databases and the powerful embedded processing capabilities of the CAAS architecture, enable the system to provide an intuitive 3D synthetic view of the external environment, regardless of weather or time of day, enhancing operational safety.
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“These tests demonstrated Rockwell Collins’ ability to provide significantly improved flight situational awareness for helicopter pilots in an affordable, fully embedded solution,” said Dave Nieuwsma, vice president and general manager of Airborne Solutions for Rockwell Collins. “Using existing CAAS hardware to minimize the system’s size, weight, and power impacts, we also proved that our synthetic vision system has a high technical readiness level, minimizing risk for future programs selecting our solution.”
Nieuwsma added that the synthetic vision system tests were successfully flown using many of the challenging low-altitude flight profiles commonly employed by military pilots in today’s demanding tactical environments.
“We’re flying through mountains at altitudes that are representative of a real-life mission scenario,” he said.
Rockwell Collins’ integration of synthetic vision into the CAAS cockpit is another example of the company’s unique ability to leverage technology from its commercial business for its military customers. In this case, synthetic vision, a key feature offered on the Rockwell Collins Pro Line FusionTM flight deck in both head-up and head-down versions for business and regional aircraft, is now being applied to military helicopter cockpits.
The flight tests were conducted in conjunction with a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement between Rockwell Collins and the U.S. Army’s Aviation Applied Technology Directorate. The agreement calls for Rockwell Collins to provide its CAAS cockpit as a test bed, enabling the Army to quickly develop and demonstrate new technology for the warfighter in a cost-effective manner.
Source : Rockwell Collins, Inc. (NYSE: COL)