Sandblaster Technology Successfully Demonstrates Ability to Enable Safer Helicopter Landings in Blinding Conditions
Flying the RASCAL JUH-60 BLACK HAWK helicopter outfitted with the prototype Sandblaster system, pilots executed landing approaches
“The Sandblaster project speaks to Sikorsky’s strength and priority, which is engineering safety into products,” said
The system integrates several technologies, including advanced flight controls, a “see-through” sensor, advanced synthetic vision, and data fusion, allowing the pilot to locate and touch down on level landing terrain free of obstacles.
Using the system, a pilot presses a single button to engage the automated flight controls, developed by Sikorsky. These controls bring the aircraft from en-route flight to a low hover with little-to-no drifting over a pre-programmed landing point. During the landing approach, Sierra Nevada’s three-dimensional radar, capable of penetrating sand and dust, detects terrain and objects within the intended landing zone. Using radar and other data, Honeywell’s Sensor-driven Localized External Evidential Knowledge (SLEEK) and Synthetic Vision System (SVS) displays on a cockpit screen a three-dimensional view of the landing zone and surroundings. The pilot is able to monitor progress during the automated approach by viewing an electronic representation of the landing zone. The pilot also is able to view and adjust the precise landing point in relation to slopes and other objects while the automated flight controls maintain stability. The system includes a 360-degree view of terrain and objects in relation to the intended landing point.
Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., based in
United Technologies Corp., based in
SOURCE Sikorsky Aircraft Corp.