The paper discusses recent results of flight tests performed during the NIAG DVE flight test campaign in Manching, Germany and Alpnach, Switzerland in February 2017. The Hensoldt DVE system SFERION was mounted on two platforms in two different configurations. The first platform was a Swiss Airforce EC635 on which SFERION was mounted with the SferiSense 500 LiDAR. SFERION displayed 3D conformal symbology for in-flight and landing support purposes. The second platform was the German DLR owned and operated EC135 ACT/FHS test helicopter. There a system using SferiSense 300 LiDAR data supported the pilot during the final approach to a hover point by providing flight path monitoring, guidance and updating. In both systems the information was displayed on head-tracked helmet mounted displays (HMDs). <p> </p>Specific LiDAR performance in the encountered real-life DVE conditions is discussed. A number of pilots flew the respective systems and results of pilot assessments on workload and capabilities as well as conclusions for the SFERION system are discussed.
This paper presents flight test results for online calculated approach trajectories using DLR’s manned research helicopter. This highly modified EC135 is equipped with a commercial forward-looking Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) sensor with a range of 1 km. During an approach to an unmapped landing site, geo-referenced LIDAR samples are acquired and combined with a priori information. The resulting representation of the environment is used for the generation of trajectories which are collision free, technically feasible and acceptable for pilots. Once new samples are collected by the LIDAR sensor, the environment map is updated in real time and the trajectory is changed based on typical approach procedures if necessary. Due to experimental aspects, a manual trajectory following was used by providing the pilot with a “Tunnel-In-The-Sky” head down display including visual cues for spatial and speed guidance during the approach.