Elbit Demos Advanced Cockpit Capabilities that Provide Army Aviators with Innovative Solutions to Improve Critical Mission Effectiveness
- Degraded visual environment solutions allow pilots to concentrate on battling the enemy, not the flying conditions
Elbit Systems of America will demonstrate its cockpit advancements at the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) in Washington, D.C., October 12-14. These highly technical solutions give Army Aviators clarity during bad weather and poor conditions to improve their mission effectiveness.
Elbit Systems of America understands that to improve the ability for aviators to negotiate poor flying conditions, sensors must see through the dark night to the terrain and obstructions; flight controls should provide increased stability and possible automate landings, complex computing should handle the fusion of multiple sensors and conformal symbology; and, the cueing (helmet tracking) and conformal symbology should provide relevant representations of the world around the crew. With these requirements in mind, Elbit Systems is investing heavily in research and development to provide solutions that enable pilots to battle the enemy, not the flying conditions.
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Line-of-sight helmet trackers, traditionally reserved for attack aircraft such as the Apache, will soon play a major role in cargo and utility aircraft. The compelling reason behind this transition is Degraded Visual Environments, better known as "DVE." DVE is anything that limits the pilots' ability to clearly see terrain, obstacles, or other visual references around the aircraft. The hazard could be fog, smoke, dust, rain, or an extremely dark night and can be encountered during any phase of the mission.
"Imagine yourself as a pilot on a Black Hawk or Chinook flying low level with a full load of troops during a dark and increasingly foggy night. That's DVE…and it's perilous," commented Raanan Horowitz, President and CEO of Elbit Systems of America. "Speak with any pilot at AUSA and they will tell you about their particular harrowing night or the tragic loss of a friend due to similar circumstances."
As world-leader in helmet tracking solutions and color helmet mounted displays, Elbit Systems currently offers advanced cueing software that provides detailed takeoff and landing information for helicopter pilots to use in brownout conditions. But these displays are only the beginning of the DVE solution.
"The brains of our tracked helmet system is the Advanced Signal Data Computer (ASDC), which is our entry point into the complex computing required to synthesize multiple unstructured video and data streams into meaningful situational awareness imagery for the pilot," continued Horowitz. "The next generation ASDC, which is in development now, will be even more powerful, and will be the first processor of its type built to be certified as a primary flight display for pilotage."
Elbit Systems is also developing a distributed aperture system for rotorcraft that is focused on improving night pilotage, but has growth potential to employ advanced sensors that can see through atmospheric and battlefield obscurants.
"The challenge," said Horowitz "is to fuse the imagery provided by sensors and databases into a smoothly stitched scene, with near-zero latency. As our processing technology grows, we are getting closer to that golden standard."
Elbit Systems advanced sensors and symbology are also available for the C-26 or special mission aircraft pilots who are concerned about low visibility that produces landing and taxiing dangers. Flying with the Elbit Systems of America Enhanced Vision System-Superior Performance (EVS-SP™), the system allows flight operations in darkness, smoke, haze, rain, fog, and other weather conditions. The EVS-SP offers the latest proven technology in cooled enhanced vision systems, by providing outstanding capabilities in degraded visibility along with high resolution in a single, weight-saving unit. The aircraft equipped with the EVS-SP displayed on a HUD will experience improved safety and better situational awareness. In addition, aircraft equipped with EVS-SP displayed on a HUD have FAA authorization to descend below 200 ft. decision height using the EVS in lieu of normal vision on any CAT I approach.
When the Head-Up Display (HUD) is integrated with an EVS system, a pilot's awareness in critical phases of flight, during reduced visibility, is enhanced. The integration of the two systems allows military aircraft to safely land, taxi and takeoff in poor weather conditions. The aircrew can then provide rapid strategic delivery of troops and cargo to main operating bases.
Source : Elbit Systems Ltd. - view original press release