HAI Convention News

Sandel Adds New Powerline Databases To HeliTaws

 - March 4, 2013, 4:30 PM
Sandel Avionics has added the ability for users to update the WireWatch database in real time on its HeliTaws unit.

Sandel Avionics is demonstrating its HeliTaws WireWatch helicopter wire-strike avoidance full-color display at Booth No. 6008. The Vista, Calif. avionics manufacturer has expanded the portfolio of national and regional powerline databases to all of North America and New Zealand, and it is assembling transmission line obstruction databases for South Korea and Japan.

The company is adding to HeliTaws the ability for users to update the WireWatch database in real time. If a flight crew encounters a new obstacle during flight they may upload its GPS coordinates directly into Sandel’s HeliTaws via a USB port, adding more timely and accurate information and alerting.

WireWatch alerts pilots to any known transmission lines at or above 100 feet agl, either energized or inert. HeliTaws draws from an updatable regional database to provide visual display and aural warnings of a hazard location on the unit’s high-resolution 3-ATI color display. Sandel’s TruAlert technology allows pilots to take off, cruise, hover and land at off-airport locations without triggering annoying nuisance alerts. At the same time, HeliTaws delivers Class-A terrain and obstacle warnings during the entire flight.

A significant HeliTaws development is introduction of the new ST3453H Mil-Std HeliTaws to the U.S. armed forces. All new Sikorsky S-70i Black Hawks are equipped with the HeliTaws, which features Mil-Std 3009 on-demand night-vision compatibility, Mil-Std 1553B bus interface and Mil-Std 810 environmental qualification. HeliTaws has successfully completed demonstration and evaluation exercises in the U.S. Navy SH-60 and Army UH-60 and will soon to begin flight testing with the U.S. Air Force. HeliTaws software has also been licensed by Rockwell Collins to be embedded in its cockpit displays.

“[Last year was] an interesting year for us,” said Gerry Block, Sandel’s president and CEO. “We saw a higher level of interest than expected from the military, and the industry as a whole is recognizing the importance of our HeliTaws.”