Elbit Systems, September 30, 2014 - Elbit Systems recently completed a series of successful helicopter flight tests in Zurich, using the SkyVis Day/Night Head Mounted Display (HMD) onboard an AW-109SP helicopter of the Swiss air rescue company Rega.
Adverse weather can prevent an air rescue team from executing their life-saving missions, searching for and rescuing survivors. By improving flight safety and situational awareness, SkyVis enables flight in limited visibility conditions, increasing the total number of rescue missions that can be safely executed and potentially saving more lives. Elbit Systems teamed with Rega to demonstrate this capability and to support this highly important task.
The flight tests demonstrated the “out of the window” display concept, presenting flight and navigation data overlaying the real world by using two and three dimensional symbols, enhanced degraded visual landing applications and head tracking capabilities.
Among the unique capabilities tested during the flights were landing on helipads, such as a hospital rooftop. During some of the landing tests the pilots used only the guidance of the system while the cockpit window was covered (in this maneuver, a safety pilot served as the captain of the aircraft for safety purposes).
The flight tests were performed in both daytime and night to test the system in different flight conditions.
The flights were successful, and the Rega pilots emphasized the contribution of the system to flight safety and the enhanced situational awareness gained in different flight phases due to the use of the system.
The companies will work together to integrate the capability in Rega’s future platforms.
SkyVis provides helicopter pilots with a conformal “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” due to the wide field of regard display, relying on the 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 instrument flight rules (IFR) to visual flight rules (VFR) without the need to look inside the cockpit, thus improving flight safety and situational awareness.
Increased navigation capabilities are achieved by displaying obstacles, traffic, waypoint and any navigation and aeronautical data as well as flight path markers, in correlation with real-world terrain, assisting in orientation and reducing workload. In addition, the system reduces the pilot’s head and eye motion during cockpit scanning, thereby increasing in-air safety levels. One of the system’s unique advantages is its head tracking capability which assists in preventing disorientation during low visibility maneuvers in any field of regard. The head tracking system is a dual redundant hybrid technology suitable for the commercial aviation word.
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.
About Rega: Emergency medical assistance by air: Rega comes to the aid of people in distress, providing swift, professional medical assistance by air. In order to do this, it employs state-of-the-art operating resources, such as helicopters and airambulances.
Rega’s workforce comprises qualified, experienced staff. In the service of its patients: Rega acts according to medical necessity and in the service of its patients. It is a privately run, non-profit foundation, which operates independently of the State or of financial interests. Rega's task is to rescue, not to pass judgement on right or wrong, guilt or innocence.
Funded by its patrons: Rega is supported and funded by its patrons. In grateful acknowledgement of this support, Rega can waive the costs of rescue missions carried out on patrons’ behalf, providing that these costs are not covered by a health or accident insurance.
About Elbit Systems: Elbit Systems Ltd. is an international defense electronics company engaged in a wide range of programs throughout the world. The Company, which includes Elbit Systems and its subsidiaries, operates in the areas of aerospace, land and naval systems, command, control, communications, computers, intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance ("C4ISR"), unmanned aircraft systems ("UAS"), advanced electro-optics, electro-optic space systems, EW suites, signal intelligence ("SIGINT") systems, data links and communications systems and radios. The Company also focuses on the upgrading of existing military platforms, developing new technologies for defense, homeland security and commercial aviation applications and providing a range of support services, including training and simulation systems.