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New vision system on way for military helicopter pilots

By Richard Tomkins
New vision system on way for military helicopter pilots
Dust is a vision problem for helicopter pilots in desert environments. U.S. Army photo.

ORLANDO, Fla., March 4 (UPI) -- A new system using multiple technologies to enhance helicopter pilot capability to see in degraded visual environments is under development.

Lockheed Martin said that under a collaborative agreement it is combining its experience in pilotage and sensor systems with a high-resolution imaging laser radar from H. N. Burns Engineering Corp. for the system.

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"Overcoming DVE (degraded visual environments) challenges requires a strategy that blends multiple technologies," said Terry Hoehn, fire control advanced programs director at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. "With H. N. Burns Engineering Corp., we are pursuing new DVE solutions to help pilots safely sense their relationship to surrounding terrain and buildings."

Said Buck Burns, president of H. N. Burns Engineering Corp.: "Our breakthrough sensor and display technology uses laser radar to help pilots fly, land and take off in degraded visual environments, with emphasis on brownout, cable warning and obstacle avoidance.

"We are pleased to work with Lockheed Martin to bring these urgently needed DVE and collision-avoidance capabilities to our warfighters."

H. N. Burns Engineering Corp., a Florida company, has been developing laser radar system technology for the U.S. Department of Defense and commercial airborne surveyors for more than 30 years.

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Additional details on the envisaged DVE system were not disclosed.

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