With the 1,500th enhanced vision system recently delivered, Elbit Systems (Booth 4246) has been at the forefront of this technology since the first Kollsman enhanced vision system (EVS) was developed in 2001. At this year’s NBAA Convention in Orlando, Fla., the company unveiled a number of developments as part of its ClearVision situational awareness enhancement range. Among the aims is to gain credits for landing with a 1,000-ft runway visual range (RVR), equating roughly to a 50-foot decision height.
Drawing on its commercial EVS and defense equipment expertise, Elbit has developed a new six-sensor, multi-spectral EVS that maximizes detection capabilities by viewing in various spectral bands. These can be combined to optimize visibility and extract the best possible long-range detection capabilities through fog, rain, smoke, haze and the dark of night. The ability to detect LED and incandescent runway lights at long ranges in low visibility is of significant value to pilots.
ClearVision EVS provides high-resolution (1280x1024) imagery on a head-up display, either fixed or wearable. The EVS imagery can be combined with synthetic vision system (SVS) imagery, as well as standard flight data symbology. This ClearVision combined vision system (CVS) can be configured in real-time in the cockpit, allowing the pilot to adjust the balance between EVS imagery and that from the SVS to best suit his or her needs and the prevailing light and weather conditions.
Working with Nicarnica Aviation, Elbit has also developed optional volcanic-ash detection for its EVS, which provides an 80- to 100-nm detection range. Detected ash can be displayed on a regular cockpit screen or as an image in the HUD. Announcement of a launch customer for this feature is expected soon.
Elbit’s ClearVision CVS has been selected by Dassault for its Falcon 5X and 8X for display in a twin-HUD installation. The two companies aim to certify ClearVision for the HUD next summer, which will make it the first CVS to be approved.
Wearable HUD Goggles
Another exciting development in Elbit’s range is the pilot-wearable SkyLens HUD goggles, which offers 1280x1024 resolution and can show the same imagery and symbology as a standard HUD. Planned to be certified as a primary flight display, SkyLens opens up many opportunities for enhanced vision, including small/medium-sized jets and helicopters where installing a full-size HUD is impossible. It can also be a cost-effective means of providing a second display in a single-HUD cockpit. SkyLens is cheaper than a fixed HUD installation and is easy to install, employing an accurate and lag-free head-tracker system mounted under the glareshield.
Another advantage of SkyLens is that it can continue to show symbology when the pilot is looking away from the fixed-HUD “window.” For helicopter pilots this is particularly important, but it can also be a boon for fixed-wing pilots, especially when taxiing or looking for nearby ADS-B traffic to the sides.
Meanwhile, Kollsman (Elbit Systems of America) itself has launched a third-generation EVS, branded as EVS SP. This high-resolution, cooled infrared sensor has now been packaged with its processor into a single LRU and has been selected by Gulfstream for the new G500 and G600.