Obstacle Display for Hover in Degraded Visual Environments
Agency / Branch:
DOD / ARMY
The objective of this topic is to develop a Rotorcraft Obstacle Avoidance Display (ROAD) that alerts pilots to hazards in confined areas, especially at night and in degraded visual environments. The Army loses an average of $58 million and 14 lives each year to obstacle strikes and the civilian helicopter industry is similarly devastated. The ROAD is designed to provide pilots with an easily understood display of obstacles 360 degrees around the aircraft and provide auditory or tactile alerts to the cue the pilot to the most immediate unseen threats, especially those within 100 meters. Expert Army and civilian pilots have participated in structured interviews and simulator sessions to define the required content, format, and behavior of the ROAD, and are highly supportive of the concept. Feasibility studies have shown that a short-range sensor and a terrain database can meet the defined requirements. In Phase II, a specially designed flight simulator will be fabricated and employed in formal experiments to finalize the ROAD design. The testing of the pilot interface design concepts in the experiments will ensure that the ROAD is optimized for use during approach-to-landing, hover, landing, and take-off maneuvers, and reduces pilot workload while maximizing his situation awareness.
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