Dr. David Byers, developer of the Synthetic Air Traffic Advisory System (Satas), which uses off-the-shelf technology to create a virtual control tower, demonstrated the system at last week’s Sun ’n’ Fun show in Lakeland, Fla. Satas combines a SharpEye radar unit, developed by DeTect of Panama City, Fla., for marine applications, with the airfield radar system from SRI of Rockledge, Fla., which makes ground security radars. Together, the systems identify and track aircraft flying in the area, all without the need for any transponders on board the aircraft.
Large flocks of birds around many Indian airports continue to threaten aircraft that are constantly under threat of strikes particularly during takeoff and landing. Data compiled by Airports Authority of India for Chennai International Airport, for example, shows bird strikes increased from 38 in 2012 to 50 in 2013.
Civilian operators that work in combat environments now have an option to equip their helicopters with electronic warfare devices that can detect incoming missiles and launch chaff and/or flare countermeasures. Rotorcraft Services Group (RSG, Booth No. 1206) recently signed an agreement with Switzerland-based Ruag Schweiz to provide integration and qualification services for Ruag’s Integrated Self-Protection System (ISSYS) Plug-on-Device (POD) for use in the civil aviation market.
Befitting the vertical lift that members of the Helicopter Association International (HAI) provide to the world, on the eve of Heli-Expo 2014, association president Matt Zuccaro pronounced the state of the industry “very up.”
“Air tours are doing well, corporate operations have re-established themselves and offshore oil and gas work is very busy right now, so it’s a pretty positive picture,” Zuccaro said. Nonetheless, the industry faces challenges including a potential shortage of pilots and mechanics.
Elbit Systems is launching two new products this week at Heli-Expo: SkyVis and Clearvision Heli EVS. SkyVis combines Elbit’s helmet-mounted display with commercially certifiable line-of-sight and daytime head-up display capabilities, day or night, with or without night-vision goggles, in all phases of flight and in marginal weather. Clearvision Heli EVS is a multi-spectral enhanced vision system designed for helicopters that provides improved situational awareness. It offers a 35-degree field of view and is designed to help pilots cope with low-visibility conditions.
Esterline CMC (Booth T87) is celebrating a couple of milestone contract awards here at the Singapore Airshow this week, as well as showcasing its main avionics products–including its popular Cockpit 9000 CNS/ATM update solution for legacy Lockheed C-130 Hercules aircraft. This is aimed at extending the service life of 20-40 year-old aircraft by up to 30 years, future-proofing them against advances in ATC technology.
Saab (Booth C11) has many years of experience devising protection systems for combat aircraft, and here at Singapore 2014 it is showing its latest offering, the ESTL. Formerly known as BOH, it is a modular system that draws on several of the company’s successful missile warning and countermeasures systems to create a cost-efficient means of protecting combat aircraft against current and predicted infrared and radar-guided missile threats.
As concern over the jamming of GPS signals grows, Elbit Systems (Booth N65) announced that it had sold its iSNS immunity system to an unspecified Asia Pacific country for installation on maritime surveillance aircraft. The Israeli company claims that the system provides full jamming immunity for multiple satellite channels and handles multiple interfering signals and/or jammers operating on concurrent frequencies. ISNS is very flexible and can work with all types of GPS, without prior knowledge of satellite locations, Elbit says.
F-35 test pilots will begin flying this year with a third-generation helmet-mounted display system (HMDS) that incorporates modifications to the earlier-generation display system, which pilots deemed insufficient for missions the Joint Strike Fighter will perform. Last October, after testing the fixes over the course of two years, the Pentagon’s F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO) gained enough confidence in the new “Gen 3” system to stop the development of an alternate helmet-mounted display.
F-35 test pilots will begin flying this year with a third-generation helmet mounted display system (HMDS) that incorporates modifications to the earlier-generation display system, which the Pentagon has identified as an F-35 program risk.