Enhanced Vision System Aimed at Military and Firefighting Crews
Collins Aerospace has successfully completed a test flight proving the effectiveness of its Enhanced Vision System (EVS) on a C130J aircraft, the company announced on 21 September.
EVS has, for many years, increased situational awareness on commercial and business aircraft. This latest milestone brings Collins closer to providing the same benefits to military customers across the globe. The EVS-3600 uses multiple wavelength cameras to ‘see through’ poor visibility conditions better than the human eye. The images are shown on head-up displays, allowing pilots to better identify the runway environment in all weather conditions, including fog, haze, snow, smoke, dust, blowing sand and low illumination nighttime operations This technology is particularly beneficial for the C-130 aircraft, given its need to operate in remote areas, its widespread use during natural disasters — such as wildfires — humanitarian relief efforts across the globe and search and rescue efforts.
“The feedback we received from the crew following the test flight confirms what we’ve known for quite some time — this technology can help save lives by improving threat detection while increasing safety margins and mission success rates for our militaries,” commented Dave Schreck, VP/GM for Military Avionics and Helicopters at Collins Aerospace. “We’re particularly interested in seeing how this technology can assist firefighting crews. Not only will it help them to navigate through heavy smoke and pinpoint hotspots while using C-130s to help stop wildfires, but they can also land and refuel closer to the fires to increase the efficiency of their efforts.”
In military operations, the EVS will also allow for:
- safer low-profile terrain flying in low-visibility conditions
- easier visual confirmation of Drop Zone markings
- fewer mission cancelations due to adverse weather conditions
- use of heat signatures to make SAR operations easier and more efficient
In addition, Collins’ EVS system is among the few solutions available that does not need a dedicated cooling system, and it remains the most compact system certified for Enhanced Flight Vision System (EFVS) Approach and EFVS Landing lower operating minima.
Collins is currently working with USAF Air Mobility Command on a longer, more comprehensive test of the EVS System and is on track to complete the prototype aircraft installation and airworthiness approval in 2023. The upgrade package is expected to be immediately available to the C-130J community thereafter.