A new entrant to the infrared enhanced-vision system (EVS) market, Lexavia, is about to receive FAA certification of its first camera/display installation, on a Eurocopter AS355 TwinStar law-enforcement helicopter. Chuck Crompton, business development director for the Pensacola, Fla.-based integrated systems house, said the STC will soon be followed by several others. “We’re already looking at our next-generation system even as we’re taking our first systems to market,” he said. “We’re in the starting gate.”
He added that Lexavia will soon introduce even smaller and lighter infrared cameras with the same or better performance. “The [infrared] detectors themselves are getting smaller, so we’ll be offering higher resolution in a smaller package.” One, about the size of a GPS antenna–the smallest and lightest EVS sensor ever, according to Crompton–is on display at the company’s booth (No. N517). Lexavia’s low-profile LFS 6000 weighs 5.6 ounces and is designed for high airspeed environments.
Lexavia is showing a wide selection of EVS sensors including long-, medium- and short-wave infrared with several resolution levels. The company is entering the low-price end of the EVS market with small, uncooled infrared cameras in a variety of airframe mounting options. The EVS cameras feed a multiple choice of small Lexavia cockpit display units with positioning options from flexible eye-level viewing screens to panel-mounted multifunction displays. The company’s offerings will include the LSF 3000 fixed field-of-view system, and the LZS 5000, with full optical zoom capability and the highest magnification level of any EVS to date. The first Lexavia AS355 STC is for installation of the LFS 3000.
The standard LSF 3000 offers four system optics choices for the best match of peripheral view and magnification. Its long-wave infrared sensors are the same as those in currently deployed military surveillance programs. Both the standard 320-by-240-pixel array and a 640-by-480 option are available. Both include 2X digital zoom capability. The LFS 3000 price of about $25,000 is less than half that of a comparable previous-generation EVS, Crompton said.
The LZS 5000 system, designed for long-distance EVS performance, has fully variable 3X optical zoom and two digital zoom levels for added 6X or 12X magnification. With the 640-by-480 array, system performance is outstanding, said Crompton. “Even with added capabilities and options, the LZS 5000 is still priced lower than its nearest same-class competitor,” he added.
He said the possibility that the FAA may grant low-visibility landing credits for systems that display a fusion of EVS and synthetic-vision system (SVS) imagery on head-down MFDs is attracting strong interest from EVS and SVS providers. Currently, the only EVS systems eligible for landing credits are those certified with outputs viewable on a head-up display.
Lexavia plans to offer high-definition color cameras specifically for business jets. Previously used primarily for video entertainment in the cabin, these cameras, mounted on the cockpit glarescreen, will allow passengers to see the same view as the pilots. Mountings are adaptable for placement on various airframe locations to monitor control surfaces and landing gear position.