BAE Systems Platform Solutions claims leadership in developing a multispectral enhanced vision system that allows pilots to land in zero-zero visibility. A unique, integrated processing architecture interfaces with multiple sensors to tile, stitch and fuse the information into a coherent, intuitive picture on a head-up or head-down display in the cockpit, or even on a pilot’s helmet-mounted display. The day/night, all-weather (DNAW) capability also carries obvious application to helicopter operations in dusty and smoky conditions on the battlefield.
The primary sensor is a millimeter-wave radar provided by BAE’s Los Angeles design and development facility. It is combined with FLIR and LLTV (low-light television) imagery. Three of BAE’s UK facilities also provide technology that can form part of the system: digital map displays from Edinburgh, the TERPROM terrain-profiling sensor from Plymouth, and HUD hardware and symbology from Rochester. Platform Solutions can also add its own flight control and active stick technology to provide tactile cues.
R&D funding has come from the UK Ministry of Defence, through the Condor II technology demonstrator program on the Lynx helicopter, and from the U.S. Air Force, through the autonomous approach landing capability program–AALC–for military transports. BAE hopes that AALC will evolve into a DNAW capability for the C-5, C-17 and C-130 military transport fleets.