Elbit Systems introduces BrightNite for helicopter pilots flying in degraded visual environments

June 11, 2015
PARIS, June 2015. Elbit Systems introduces BrightNite, designed to enable utility helicopters to perform degraded visual environment (DVE) missions in more than 90 percent of night flying situations.

PARIS, June 2015. Elbit Systems introduces BrightNite, designed to enable utility helicopters to perform degraded visual environment (DVE) missions in more than 90 percent of night flying situations.

Lightweight, compact, and cost-effective, BrightNite is a multi-spectral end to end panoramic piloting solution that delivers the essential data directly to both eyes of the pilot, enabling intuitive flight in a head-up, eyes-out orientation in pitch dark and other DVE conditions.

The solution is comprised of non-gimballed, uncooled FLIR and sensitive complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) sensors that present an ultra-wide field of regard intuitive image to a display system which projects to the ANVIS/HUD night helmet mounted display (HMD). The display is overlaid by a synthetic layer that follows the contours of the landscape and a third layer of 3D conformal symbology, which displays hazards, mission conformal symbology, and tactical data. Multiple crew members can simultaneously scan the entire field of regard, using a single sensor and the synthetic world, enabling them to fly in common line-of-sight (LOS).

Low-flying aircraft are especially vulnerable to threats such as difficult terrain, enemy fire, and the intersection of utility wires in the flight path. Sorties must often be carried out in a Degraded Visual Environment (DVE), adding to the already heavy workload and leaving flight crews to ­­rely on NVGs to accomplish their mission. Factors limiting the pilots’ FOV include: complete darkness, poor we­ather conditions, brownouts, whiteouts, and sandstorms.

According to the U.S. Army Aviation, there is a problem with spatial disorientation while operating in degraded visual environments. Historically, approximately 20 percent of all Class A and B mishaps have been attributed directly to spatial disorientation or loss of situational awareness in DVE, but the issue remains far from solution.

The new BrightNite solution is being presented at the Elbit Systems’ booth (Chalet A-200) at the Paris Air Show.

Elbit Systems’ BrightNite overcomes visibility limitations and improves situational awareness, mission effectiveness, and flight safety in DVE. The system processes real-time panorama video, enhanced by a 3D conformal mission symbology concept, and transmits high-resolution video to the helmet-mounted display (HMD). BrightNite utilizes unified location-based information culled from a wide FOV to display crystal clear images, in zero visibility and zero latency, enabling helicopters to successfully execute missions in more than 90% of the nights.

Elbit Systems Ltd. is an international high-technology company engaged in a wide range of defense, homeland security, and commercial programs throughout the world.

About the Author

Courtney E. Howard | Chief Editor, Intelligent Aerospace

Courtney enjoys writing about all things high-tech in PennWell’s burgeoning Aerospace and Defense Group, which encompasses Intelligent Aerospace and Military & Aerospace Electronics. She’s also a self-proclaimed social-media maven, mil-aero nerd, and avid avionics and space geek. Connect with Courtney at [email protected], @coho on Twitter, on LinkedIn, and on Google+.

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Military Aerospace, create an account today!