Germany’s Federal Border Police (FBP) EC 135s and EC 155s will be equipped with the EADS Defence Electronics Hellas obstacle-warning laser radar. An order for 18 systems, announced at ILA in Berlin last month, will augment an earlier one for 25 systems.
EADS says that Hellas is a good example of how technology can contribute to protecting people during operations under extreme conditions. Hellas scans its surroundings with an eye-safe laser beam and detects even thin wires at a great distance and with high precision. The pilot is given information on obstacles in the flight path–such as high-voltage transmission lines, wind power generators or trees–via optical and acoustic signals, which can prompt early evasive action. It thereby reduces the risks encountered during helicopter operations under difficult conditions–such as low altitude, poor visibility or incomplete landing point information. According to Bernhard Gerwert, CEO of EADS Defence Electronics, it enhances flight safety considerably.
A military version of Hellas has been designed to meet the requirements of service operations. It will be fitted to the NH-90 and is currently being adapted to helicopters deployed by U.S. Army Special Operations forces.