FAA selects Astronics Max-Viz enhanced flight vision system for instrument heliport approach research on Sikorsky S-76

EAST AURORA, N.Y. Astronics Corp. (NASDAQ:ATRO), through its wholly owned subsidiary Astronics Max-Viz in Portland, Ore., is collaborating with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) officials on a research project to study operational concepts for the use of Enhanced Flight Vision Systems (EFVS) in helicopters.

Jul 12th, 2017
FAA selects Astronics Max-Viz enhanced flight vision system for instrument heliport approach research on Sikorsky S-76
FAA selects Astronics Max-Viz enhanced flight vision system for instrument heliport approach research on Sikorsky S-76

EAST AURORA, N.Y.Astronics Corp. (NASDAQ:ATRO), through its wholly owned subsidiary Astronics Max-Viz in Portland, Ore., is collaborating with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) officials on a research project to study operational concepts for the use of Enhanced Flight Vision Systems (EFVS) in helicopters.

The study is to develop a basis for possible application of enhanced vision systems in helicopters flying into heliports. EFVS rules exist for approaches to runways at airports, but comparable regulations for EFVS do not exist for helicopters flying to onshore or offshore helipads at heliports.

Astronics is providing the company’s Max-Viz 1500 and Max-Viz 2300 Enhanced Vision System (EVS) to the FAA for integration onto its Sikorsky S-76 medium-size commercial utility helicopter test aircraft for this study, describes Astronics Max-Viz's Dale Farr, manager of sales and business development. "The Astronics Max-Viz EVS sensors will be used in flight tests and data acquisition for EVS and EFVS implementation."


Video image displayed on a Genesys Aerosystems IDU680
provides unprecedented situational awareness and safety,
officials say.

Flight tests are being conducted by the FAA's William J. Hughes Technical Center, at the Atlantic City International Airport in New Jersey. The center serves as the national scientific test base for the FAA. Programs include research and development, test and evaluation, and verification and validation in air traffic control, communications, navigation, airports, aircraft safety, and security.

The Max-Viz 1500 sensor will provide baseline testing, which will be followed with the installation of the Max-Viz 2300 for observation of LED lighting on the blended high-resolution, long-wave infrared image. Flights are planned to occur in various weather and visibility conditions, day, night and twilight and via alternative approaches. Results of the study will be used by the FAA to evaluate the effectiveness of EFVS technology for helicopter flight safety and operational effectiveness.

The Astronics Max-Viz 2300 EVS improves situational awareness and safety by enabling pilots to see more precisely during day or night in adverse weather conditions, such as haze, smoke, smog, and light fog, even in the darkest night. At night, pilots can also see and avoid clouds for a smoother ride. Upon landing, pilots using the Max-Viz 2300 can view the runway and terrain clearly to avoid wildlife and unlit obstructions.

The advanced EVS is a lightweight, affordable, multi-spectral imager that blends the separate signal from a long wave infrared sensor with a visible light sensor to present pilots with a single, sharp, real-time image. The blended thermal image is black and white, but a separate color HD-compatible signal from the visible light camera is available for routing to a cabin entertainment system or cockpit for a complete color display. The Max-Viz 2300 system is certified to Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics (RTCA) DO-160G standards, which is the industry standard for the environmental testing of avionics hardware and is recognized by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) as the de facto international standard ISO-7137.

Astronics Corp. (NASDAQ:ATRO) is a supplier of advanced technologies and products to the global aerospace, defense, and semiconductor industries. Astronics’ products and services include advanced, high-performance electrical power generation and distribution systems, seat motion solutions, lighting and safety systems, avionics products, aircraft structures, systems certification, and automated test systems.

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