Army helicopters to use synthetic vision technology from Rockwell Collins under DARPA contractNews
June 15, 2012
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa. Officials at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has tasked Rockwell Collins engineers with developing a synthetic vision avionics backbone for next generation helicopter applications under the Multi-Function Radio Frequency (MFRF) program.
BAE Systems was Rockwell Collins’ teammate on the first two phases of the contract, which is worth $5.1 million. An optional third phase would increase the contract value to $6 million.
Under the DARPA MFRF contract Rockwell Collins engineers will develop a 3D synthetic vision-based imagery system for helicopter operations that will be used with multifunction radar. The radar information will be fused with obstacle and terrain data to create an integrated 3D view of the operational environment.
Rockwell Collins worked with the Army to flight test the synthetic vision technology on a Black Hawk helicopter, says Dave Nieuwsma, Rockwell Collins vice president and general manager for Airborne Solutions.
The synthetic vision flight testing was conducted in conjunction with a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement between the Army’s Aviation Applied Technology Directorate and Rockwell Collins. Under the agreement Rockwell Collins engineers will provide the company’s CAAS cockpit as a test bed, allowing the Army to more quickly develop and demonstrate the new technology. To see a video of the Synthetic Vision System, visit http://youtu.be/V-8xPI2kfkg.