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TopOwl flies through tests for new extreme-condition applications

TopOwl(r) flew through its latest series of tests for extreme-condition applications, confirming it as the leading Helmet Mounted Sight Display system of its kind, with performance continuously honed to the highest level possible.

As part of the successfully completed series of flight tests, TopOwl(r) was connected to latest technology sensors to demonstrate that it meets increasingly rigorous demands for safe flight operations in degraded visual environments such as night, brownout, and whiteout.

TopOwl displayed high resolution FLIR, symbology, and Intensified Images onboard several new generation rotorcraft, including a limited evaluation on the Apache AH-64D.

These test campaigns demonstrated that TopOwl(r) - currently deployed in Afghanistan onboard international helicopter platforms - allows pilots to fly "head-up and eyes-out" by day or night and in extreme conditions, thereby strongly contributing to safety.

TopOwl(r) enables pilots to display both high resolution FLIR and high performance night vision images right in front of their eyes, and to switch easily and instantaneously between both.

The Aviation Applied Technology Directorate (AATD) recently completed a partial evaluation of the Thales Top Owl Helmet Mounted Sight and Display system on an AH-64D Apache.

While the scope of the integration and subsequent testing was limited, the Experimental Test pilots were enthusiastic about the system performance, with comments such as: "unusually great FLIR image" and "IMAX effect", together with "great depth of field in night vision mode", and "it reduces pilot's workload and fatigue". Both the binocular visor projected image and the great comfort of the helmet, which was found to be light and well balanced, were well received by the pilots.

Most of the flight tests were conducted in USA, Canada and Australia:

-- Black Hawk & Huey with Lockheed Martin (USA)

-- Huey with United States Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory (USAARL) (USA)

-- National Research Council (NRC) (Canada) and Defence Science & Technology Organization (DSTO) (Australia)

-- Apache AH-64D (Longbow version) with pilots of AATD (Aviation Applied Technology Directorate) (USA)

TopOwl is a key component of an Enhanced Vision System (EVS). With the help of infrared detectors, the EVS as a whole provides flight crews with high-definition imagery of the environment outside an aircraft at any time of day or night.

Press release issued by Thales Avionics S.A. on April 16, 2010


 Contact details from our directory:
Thales Avionics S.A. Inertial Components & Systems, GPS, Head-Up Displays, LCD Displays, AC/DC Generators, Inflight Entertainment, Avionics Management Systems, Flight Management Systems, Onboard Computers, Radar/Radio Altimeters, Electronic Flight Instrument Systems, Automatic Flight Control Systems, Electronic Control Equipment, Onboard Airport Navigation Systems, FLIR Systems, Tacan Receivers, Multi-Mode Receivers (MMR), Pitot Tubes, Collision Avoidance Systems/TCAS, Control Panels, Radar Transponders, Angle of Attack Indicators, Emergency Locator Transmitters, Autopilots, Cockpit Printers, Helmet-Mounted Displays (HMD), Transceivers, Air Data Computers, Radio Communications Equipment, IFF Interrogators, Airborne Communication Systems


 Related aircraft programs:
Boeing AH-64 Apache


 Related directory sectors:
Imaging and Visual Systems

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