19 June 2014 Detection of helicopter landing sites in unprepared terrain
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The primary usefulness of helicopters shows in missions where regular aircraft cannot be used, especially HEMS (Helicopter Emergency Medical Services). This might be due to requirements for landing in unprepared areas without dedicated runway structures, and an extended exibility to y to more than one previously unprepared target. One example of such missions are search and rescue operations. An important task of such a mission is to locate a proper landing spot near the mission target. Usually, the pilot would have to evaluate possible landing sites by himself, which can be time-intensive, fuel-costly, and generally impossible when operating in degraded visual environments. We present a method for pre-selecting a list of possible landing sites. After specifying the intended size, orientation and geometry of the site, a choice of possibilities is presented to the pilot that can be ordered by means of wind direction, terrain constraints like maximal slope and roughness, and proximity to a mission target. The possible choices are calculated automatically either from a pre-existing terrain data base, or from sensor data collected during earlier missions, e.g., by collecting data with radar or laser sensors. Additional data like water-body maps and topological information can be taken into account to avoid landing in dangerous areas under adverse view conditions. In case of an emergency turnaround the list can be re-ordered to present alternative sites to the pilot. We outline the principle algorithm for selecting possible landing sites, and we present examples of calculated lists.
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Niklas Peinecke, Niklas Peinecke, "Detection of helicopter landing sites in unprepared terrain", Proc. SPIE 9087, Degraded Visual Environments: Enhanced, Synthetic, and External Vision Solutions 2014, 90870N (19 June 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2052674; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2052674


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