The initial components of a new family of special missions and safety avionics for helicopters are being featured at the Dubai Air Show for the first time by Rockwell Collins.
HeliSure was rolled out at the Paris Air Show earlier this year featuring the Helicopter Synthetic Vision System (H-SVS) and the Helicopter Terrain Awareness and Warning System (H-TAWS), which, says Collins, will work together to give pilots “unprecedented” situational awareness, particularly in congested airspace or while working dangerous mission profiles in conditions such as reduced visibility.
“We could put in other capabilities, such as TCAS II (Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance), or other sensors to enhance flight in fog or brownout,” says Colin Mahoney, Collins’ seniro vice president for international services and solutions.
The company hopes that showing the equipment will lead to customers pressuring helicopter manufacturers to offer HeliSure in new aircraft; soon after, says Mahoney, it could be available for upgrades and retrofit in both commercial and military markets.
Collins claims it has a unique portfolio of products combining visualization, displays, sensors and databases that together increase situational awareness.
The first of the new tools, the H-SVS, intends to simplify navigation in degraded-visibility environments by replicating the outside world in high resolution –Collins says it has claims the most-detailed synthetic vision display available on the market. Users plug into the manufacturer’s proprietary high-resolution terrain and known-obstacle database and can see any upcoming problem areas in “industry-leading” three-arc second resolution throughout all phases of flight. And, importantly, the H-SVS works with existing hardware: the software application can be ported to most current-generation large-format displays.
H-TAWS graphically depicts terrain and known obstacles and gives pilots advance warning of those in their flight path to further boost safety. The FAA has recognized the potential of such a system and has proposed a mandate for the use of an H-TAWS system by helicopter emergency medical services operators.
Separately, Collins announced earlier this month that the U.S. Army has awarded it the first of three phases in a program to develop the Degraded Visual Environment Pilotage System (DVEPS) for the U.S. Army’s Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR) helicopters. The goal of the three-phase program is to develop and qualify a DVE solution that can be fielded by 2018.