Pilots can actually see through the body of the aircraft as they fly.
International technology company Elbit Systems this week unveiled a helicopter vision suite for military helicopters that uses a combination of augmented reality (AR), machine learning, and artificial intelligence to provide pilots better visibility while in degraded visibility conditions. The system is powerful, according to the company, that pilots can actually see through the aircraft as they fly.
The platform is built around three primary components: an AR head-mounted display (HMD), an AI-powered mission computer, and an array of sensor systems, including the Xplore radar and BrightNite multispectral payload, which includes day and Infra-Red cameras for thermal vision.
These sensors are mounted to the nose of the plane and are used to generate a virtual map of the local terrain, including any obstacles such as powerlines or antennas. This information is fed to the AI-powered mission computer and combined with pre-installed maps and mission data before being displayed onto the visor of the company’s X-Sight HMD.
As pilots navigate their flight route, an AR overlay displays critical information over the virtual map in real-time. This includes everything from potential obstacles and threats to critical flight and mission information. Pilots can even switch between several different modes, such as day and night flight, landing pad analysis, collision alert, obstacle mapping, and more.
According to Elbit Systems, this immersive helicopter vision suite will allow pilots to perform more effectively in poor conditions, allowing them to effectively “own the weather.”
“The new suite enables helicopter pilots to see through the body of the aircraft and provides them with a real-time, clear, colored wide field of view, during day and night, in challenging weather and visibility conditions,” said the company in an official release.
“These capabilities address one of the toughest operational challenges of military helicopters – conducting low-altitude flights during degraded visibility conditions, significantly expanding the operational envelop of military helicopters, transforming extreme weather and other degraded visibility conditions into an operational advantage.”
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Image Credit: Elbit Systems