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Proceedings Paper

Flight assessment of an integrated DNAW helicopter pilotage display system: flight trial HAWKOWL
Author(s): David C. Thorndycraft; Peter J. Longman; David F. Marsden; Sion Jennings
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Paper Abstract

Military helicopter operations are often constrained by environmental conditions including low light levels and poor weather. Recent operational experience has also shown the difficulty presented by certain terrain when operating at low altitude by day and night. For example, poor visual cues when flying over featureless terrain with low scene contrast, or obscuration of vision caused by wind blown and re-circulated dust at low level (brown out). These types of conditions can result in loss of spatial awareness and loss of precise control of the aircraft. Atmospheric obscurants such as fog, cloud, rain and snow can similarly lead to hazardous situations. Day Night All Weather (DNAW) systems applied research, sponsored by UK MOD, has developed a systematic, human centred approach, to understanding and developing pilotage display systems for challenging environments. A prototype DNAW system has been developed using an incremental flight test programme, leading to the flight assessment of a fully integrated pilotage display solution, trial HAWKOWL, installed in a Sea King helicopter. The system comprises several sub-systems including; a multi-spectral sensor suite, image processing and fusion; head down and head-tracked Display Night Vision Goggles; onboard mission planning and route generation; precision navigation; dynamic flight path guidance; and conformal, task dependent, symbology. A variety of qualitative and quantitative assessment techniques have been developed and applied to determine the performance of the system and the capability it provides. This paper describes the approach taken in the design, implementation and assessment of the system and identifies key results from the flight trial.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 April 2007
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 6559, Enhanced and Synthetic Vision 2007, 655908 (27 April 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.718987
Show Author Affiliations
David C. Thorndycraft, QinetiQ (United Kingdom)
Peter J. Longman, QinetiQ (United Kingdom)
David F. Marsden, MOD (United Kingdom)
Sion Jennings, NRC/CNRC (Canada)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6559:
Enhanced and Synthetic Vision 2007
Jacques G. Verly; Jeff J. Guell, Editor(s)

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