Flight vision system for rotary-wing aircraft

  • 23-Jul-2015 01:36 EDT
CVS_ClearVision.jpg

Elbit's Helicopter ClearVision system integrates electronic vision sensors and head-up display technology, enabling continuous and unobstructed flying, improving flight safety and situational awareness, and minimizing the dependency on airport and helipad instruments. The system is expected to contribute to the reduction of landing minima in the future.

Elbit Systems Ltd.'s Helicopter ClearVision is the rotary-wing version of its ClearVision next-generation enhanced flight vision system (EFVS) for commercial aircraft. This system has been demonstrated successfully in flights onboard various types of helicopter platforms and is in advanced stages of certification for with EASA and FAA.

Helicopter ClearVision covers the full flight envelope and is designed to improve the accessibility of helicopters to destinations that suffer from limiting weather conditions and low visibility situations in day and night.

The system’s display fuses conformal flight guidance symbology with synthetic vision presentation and high-resolution EVS (enhance vision system) video on SkyVis or Skylens. It uses multi-spectral sensors to capture and display the terrain and to penetrate atmospheric obscurants such as fog, rain, snow, dust, or smoke. The sensors are combined and fused on the head-up display, with global terrain database, functioning as a combined vision system (CVS).

The CVS provides a high-fidelity view of the outside world even when actual visibility is zero and enables pilots to see in conditions impairing the visibility of unaided approach. This improves the pilots’ ability to execute precision and non-precision approaches and safely land, reducing the risks of Clear Flight into Terrain (CFIT) accidents and possibly contribute to the reduction of lower minimas for both takeoff and landings under the FAA and EASA regulations.

The system’s HeliEVS camera is packaged in a single line-replaceable unit, which autonomously performs the complete EVS capability. Functionality is accomplished through real-time image fusion between multiple sensors at multiple spectral bands. The spectral bands were selected based on multi-year studies of the properties of light penetration through poor weather conditions, thus providing the best signal to noise ratio for most weather conditions, day and night. The processing is performed in electronics hardware to minimize latency.

Skylens is the display solution for non-helmet users. Packed in a lightweight, easy-to-install device—as intuitive as a pair of sunglasses, according to Elbit—Skylens is operational in all weather conditions, day and night and provides head-up information and minimizes dependency on airport instrumentation. Skylens displays high-resolution information, images, and video on a high transparency visor, providing see-through transmission.

SkyVis provides helicopter pilots with a “head out” view, displaying flight, vehicle, and navigation symbology for day and night operation, in limited weather conditions. An add-on to the pilot’s own helmet, SkyVis is easily integrated with minimal footprint in the cockpit. The pilot is able to fly eyes-out and rely on the wide field of data displayed in front of his/her eyes. The system assists during maneuvers close to the ground and in limited visibility conditions such as transition from IFR to VFR without the need to look inside the cockpit, thus improving flight safety and situational awareness.

SkyVis has both day and night displays mounted on the TSO-C164 certified NVG, offering a single, seamless solution for round-the-clock operations.

The system is expected to gain airworthiness certification by end of 2016.

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