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Proceedings Paper

Flight test of MMW radar for brown-out helicopter landing
Author(s): Christopher A. Martin; Vladimir Kolinko; Gregory P. Otto; John A. Lovberg
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Paper Abstract

Trex Enterprises and US Army RDECOM CERDEC Night Vision Electronic Sensors Directorate developed and tested helicopter radar to aid in brown-out landing situations. A brown-out occurs when sand and dust kicked up by the helicopter rotors impair the pilot's vision. Millimeter-wave (MMW) radiation penetrates sand and dust with little loss or scattering, and radar at this frequency can provide a pilot with an image of the intended landing zone. The Brown-out Situational Awareness System (BSAS) is a frequency-modulated, continuous-wave radar that measures range to the ground across a conical field-of-view and uses that range information to create an image for the pilot. The BSAS collected imagery from a helicopter in a blowing sand environment with obstacles including ditches, hills, posts, poles, wires, buildings and vehicles. The BSAS proved the capability to form images of the ground through heavy blowing sand and resolve images of some obstacles. The BSAS also attempted to differentiate flat ground from bumpy ground with limited success at some viewing angles. The BSAS test imagery includes some artifacts formed by high radar cross-section targets in the field-of-view or sidelobes. The paper discusses future improvements that could limit these artifacts.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 May 2012
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 8362, Passive and Active Millimeter-Wave Imaging XV, 83620D (8 May 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.924168
Show Author Affiliations
Christopher A. Martin, Trex Enterprises Corp. (United States)
Vladimir Kolinko, Trex Enterprises Corp. (United States)
Gregory P. Otto, Trex Enterprises Corp. (United States)
John A. Lovberg, Trex Enterprises Corp. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8362:
Passive and Active Millimeter-Wave Imaging XV
David A. Wikner; Arttu R. Luukanen, Editor(s)

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