Honeywell Aerospace has been awarded a contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to continue improving three-dimensional visibility and safety for U.S. military helicopter pilots experiencing inclement weather and harsh environments. Among the visual challenges faced by pilots are issues with rain, snow, dust, fog and other elements that reduce the ability to fly and land.
As part of DARPA’s Multifunction Radio Frequency effort, Honeywell will program, update and integrate the company’s Synthetic Vision Avionics Backbone (SVAB) solution on U.S. military test helicopters, such as the UH-60 Black Hawk. Honeywell’s technology provides pilots with the most accurate "out-the-window," 3-D view on its primary flight displays, which are critical in low-visibility environments that mask hidden dangers, such as treacherous terrain, other aircraft or utility wires.
Honeywell’s VP of advanced technology, Bob Witwer, said Honeywell’s system can save lives that are in danger when in degraded visual environments.
Honeywell’s avionics solution couples the company’s FAA-certified synthetic vision products for business and general aviation with a software backbone developed for DARPA. By providing software and hardware, Honeywell’s solution has the flexibility to adapt to different sensors and platforms available to the U.S. armed services.
Honeywell will update the synthetic vision system to support the next phase of the Multifunction Radio Frequency program to fuse information from DARPA’s Advanced Rotary Multifunction Sensor radar along with terrain and obstacle databases and satellite imagery. The wider breadth of information will better inform helicopter pilots faced with low-visibility challenges.