National Defense Magazine, August 01, 2020 – Special Operations Command and the Army are adopting new technology to improve visibility during flight operations in degraded conditions.
Sierra Nevada Corp. was selected for the third phase of the degraded visual environment pilotage system competition following a 2015 airborne test. The company’s most recent contract modification includes full-rate production, according to a company news release.
Paul Bontrager, Sierra Nevada’s vice president for government relations, said the system will help pilots operate in areas with limited visibility such as fog and dust. “We’ve always had a hard time flying in snow and flying in dirt,” he said. “In Army aviation we’ve been waiting for this technology to mature, and it has.”
To enable pilots to maintain their situational awareness, the product has multiple features such as cameras and radars, he said. The system also has light detection and ranging. By combining sensors, a pilot is able to see a more accurate picture of the surrounding environment. Additionally, there are different versions of the system with varying amounts of sensors, he noted.