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16 May 2013 Sensor supported pilot assistance for helicopter flight in DVE
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Helicopter operations at low altitude are to this day only performed under VFR conditions in which safe piloting of the aircraft relies on the pilot’s visual perception of the outside environment. However, there are situations in which a deterioration of visibility conditions may cause the pilot to lose important visual cues thereby increasing workload and compromising flight safety and mission effectiveness. This paper reports on a pilot assistance system for all phases of flight which is intended to: • Provide navigational support and mission management • Support landings/take-offs in unknown environment and in DVE • Enhance situational awareness in DVE • Provide obstacle and terrain surface detection and warning • Provide upload, sensor based update and download of database information for debriefing and later missions. The system comprises a digital terrain and obstacle database, tactical information, flight plan management combined with an active 3D sensor enabling the above mentioned functionalities. To support pilots during operations in DVE, an intuitive 3D/2D cueing through both head-up and head-down means is proposed to retain situational awareness. This paper further describes the system concept and will elaborate on results of simulator trials in which the functionality was evaluated by operational pilots in realistic and demanding scenarios such as a SAR mission to be performed in mountainous area under different visual conditions. The objective of the simulator trials was to evaluate the functional integration and HMI definition for the NH90 Tactical Transport Helicopter.
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Tim Waanders, T. Münsterer, and M. Kress "Sensor supported pilot assistance for helicopter flight in DVE", Proc. SPIE 8737, Degraded Visual Environments: Enhanced, Synthetic, and External Vision Solutions 2013, 873704 (16 May 2013);

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