Israeli company Senso Optics is claiming a breakthrough in thermal uncooled sensor technology. The company says that superior image quality is now possible in miniature cameras, thanks to the introduction of its Camera On-Chip (COC) device. Senso Optics is a supplier of thermal imaging technology to military and security markets, and also produces commercial avionics.
The use of NVGs in civil helicopters is still in its infancy, so obtaining approval for night operations, including those with night-vision goggles (NVGs), remains a lengthy and tricky process, according to European helicopter emergency medical service (HEMS) operators. During a conference at Helitech, a number of HEMS operators shared their experiences obtaining such approvals and discussed challenges that regulators should mediate to ease the burden on operators.
Aviation Specialties Unlimited (ASU) is demonstrating night-vision goggle (NVG) technology during this year’s NBAA Convention. Attendees can experience NVGs in the demonstration trailer at the company’s booth (No. C9832).
ASU, based in Boise, Idaho, provides NVG equipment, cockpit modifications, pilot training and goggle maintenance, and holds supplemental type certificates (STCs) on multiple fixed-wing aircraft. Operators can have NVG cockpit lighting solutions installed at the company’s FAA Part 145 repair station in Boise or at the customer’s facility.
Flight Display Systems has provided a custom 20-inch flip-up monitor to NASA for its Boeing 747SP, which is taking part in the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (Sofia) research program. The display is intended to monitor infrared emissions from space as part of Sofia, which is funded jointly by NASA and the German Aerospace Center. The centerpiece of the research is a 2.5-meter-diameter telescope mounted in the 747SP.
Italian avionics group Elettronica is demonstrating the Virgilius integrated electronic warfare (EW) architecture system at its Paris Air Show exhibit (Hall 1 E294), as well as the ELT/572 directional infrared countermeasures (DIRCM) system for protecting against man-portable air defense (Manpad) weapons. It has also unveiled its latest self-protection suite for combat search-and-rescue helicopters.
L-3 Cincinnati Electronics says that its new NightWarrior 640 mid-wave infrared imaging system is a major technical advance. Designed for carriage by unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) and other small applications, the camera is five times smaller and lighter than previous MWIR systems, and draws four times less power, according to the maker.
Night vision goggle (NVG) technology provider Rebtech, of Bedford Texas, announced the initial night-vision compatible conversion of an AS350B3 owned and operated by rotor training provider HeliStream. Rebtech (Booth No. N4724) provided both the supplemental type certified equipment and integration support for the conversion. Rebtech also modified the aircraft’s external lighting. The NVG-compatible lighting inside and outside the helicopter will allow HeliStream to provide specialized NVG training for both initial pilot transition and recurrent training.
Night-vision goggles (NVG) are rapidly becoming a mainstream tool in many helicopter operations, to the extent that NVG pilot training is available at many more schools, more avionics and electronic equipment is out-of-the box NVG-compatible and prices of goggles are one of the few aviation items that has dropped in price, below the rate of inflation.
Goggles are made by the two major manufacturers–ITT Exelis and L-3–and still cost at least $10,000, but the likelihood that new pilots entering the rotorcraft profession will be wearing the devices is higher than ever.
Visitors viewing the Airbus ACJ318 on static display (A15) here at MEBA 2012 are being viewed right back by the Vigiplane, the bright yellow, autonomous-monitoring system locked onto the jet’s nosegear.
Flir Systems has installed an airport security zone at the Farnborough International airshow (Hall 3 Stand AS7) demonstrating an integrated, layered approach to screening passengers using various devices from the U.S. company’s product range.
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