BAE Australia selects Synthetic Vision from Mercury for brownout landing system

BAE Systems Australia engineers investigated display solutions in the development of a rotorcraft brownout landing system.

May 1st, 2007

BAE Systems Australia engineers investigated display solutions in the development of a rotorcraft brownout landing system. The company has awarded a contract to Mercury Computer Systems Inc. of Chelmsford, Mass., for its Synthetic Vision display.

Brownouts can occur when rotorcraft attempt to land on dusty terrain. The downwash created by the rotors picks up dust on the ground, reducing the pilot’s visibility. To address this problem, civil and government groups are developing sensors that can detect terrain and obstacles.

“See and Remember,” a phrase coined by the Air Force Research Lab, refers to a brownout landing system that scans the landing area before the rotors kick up the dust. The scan is fed to a computer that “remembers” where the terrain is, and then draws it on a cockpit-mounted computer monitor in 3D as the craft descends. Synthetic Vision technology uses information from databases and sensor readings to generate this computer-drawn terrain for the pilot’s use.

Mercury has developed a patent-pending Morphing Terrain Engine that incorporates terrain sensor measurements that are captured and updated in real time via a standard interface, and then displayed with Synthetic Vision.

More information about Mercury Computer Systems is available online at www.mc.com.

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