BAE Systems Australia selects Synthetic Vision display from Mercury Computer Systems for brownout landing system

CHELMSFORD, Mass., 1 March 2007. Mercury Computer Systems Inc. has been awarded a contract by BAE Systems Australia to provide a Synthetic Vision display, for the development of a rotorcraft brownout landing system.

CHELMSFORD, Mass., 1 March 2007.Mercury Computer Systems Inc. has been awarded a contract by BAE Systems Australia to provide a Synthetic Vision display, for the development of a rotorcraft brownout landing system.

"BAE Systems Australia has chosen Mercury Computer Systems to provide a Synthetic Vision display for a flight-ready prototype brownout landing system for rotorcraft," says operations director Jim Hanson. "Mercury and BAE Systems will be working closely to assemble and integrate the system."

Brownouts can occur when a rotorcraft attempts to land on dusty terrain. When a helicopter descends through the last 50 feet, the downwash created by the rotors pick up the dust on the ground. This can reduce the pilot's visibility to zero.

To address this problem, civil and government groups have begun to explore the issue by developing sensors that could 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. The technology that generates this computer-drawn terrain from databases and sensor readings is called Synthetic Vision.

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 displayed with Synthetic Vision.

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