Helicopter Remote Manipulation of External Slingloads (HERMES)

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Army
Contract: W911W6-06-C-0063
Agency Tracking Number: A052-057-2318
Amount: $729,915.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2006
Solicitation Year: 2005
Solicitation Topic Code: A05-057
Solicitation Number: 2005.2
Small Business Information
6767 Old Madison Pike, Suite 410, Huntsville, AL, 35806
DUNS: 363526914
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Stephen Granade
 Senior Scientist
 (256) 971-0036
 granade@aos-inc.com
Business Contact
 Keith Farr
Title: President
Phone: (256) 971-0036
Email: contracts@aos-inc.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
Helicopter operations in low visibility conditions and sling load operations continue to add risk to aviation operations. If slingloads could be picked up without the need for a ground crew, lives could be saved. In addition, a sensor that can detect the location of a load would help in low visibility conditions. We propose to develop such a system. It will include the mechanical structures necessary for unscrewed operation and automatic electrical grounding of the helicopter, the sensors for locating the loads, and integration in both the helicopter technical systems and operational procedures for acquiring external loads. In this approach, the ground crew will only set the load in place, and ensure the latching mechanism is properly deployed. Our baseline approach is to accommodate existing helicopter hook and sling/clevis technologies, by adding non-load bearing hardware to guide the clevis into the hook. For sensors, use an RF based technology for rough load location through whiteout/brownout conditions, and an optical system for terminal guidance.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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