Phoenix-based Honeywell Aerospace has conducted the initial trials of a system that combines multiple sensors and database information into a single 3-D view of the outside world – Synthetic Vision Avionics Backbone (SVAB). The system merges various sensors with the manufacturer’s Synthetic Vision System (SVS) to improve visibility in degraded visual environments (DVE), such as brownout, whiteout, during inclement weather and in the dark of night. Trials of the SVAB took place on a Sikorsky Black Hawk as part of a U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Multifunction Radio Frequency (MFRF) program.
According to Howard Wiebold, manager of business development for Honeywell, the system detected obstacles, terrain and power lines during the testing. “While this particular test was done on a Black Hawk,” he noted in a statement, “the intent is make this sort of technology available for any number of current and future military helicopter platforms, including Future Vertical Lift platforms.”
Wiebold continued: “…the ultimate aim is to give military operators – the broader U.S. Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force – coupled with NATO allies and commercial operators, flexibility in adopting synthetic vision-based offerings with different sensor packages appropriate to each customer’s needs.”