Project: Helicopter Flight and Landing Radar

The purpose of the programme is to develop a Helicopter Flight and Landing Radar (Heli-FLR) to assist pilots in avoiding potential hazards for helicopter safety during flight phase (such as terrain, antennas, trees and even wires) and, additionally, to provide near-real time information of the landing area (such as obstacles, inclined terrain, holes) during landing phase using advanced one dimensional innovative interferometric method and intuitive visualization. All that in various weather conditions, and during day and night. _x000D_Landing and flight modes will be combined into a light weight and low cost Radar-based system._x000D_Development of this new system would not only prevent accidents and casualties like the ones that occurred in the past years, but also improve the service of helicopter operation companies by increasing the flight capabilities in difficult conditions and the availability of the helicopters._x000D__x000D_Due to the recent growth of commercial helicopter numbers around the world, there is indeed an increasing demand for helicopter safety related systems, like TAWS (Terrain Awareness and Warning System), obstacle detection and support for operations in various environmental conditions. _x000D_For instance, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) aviation operations provide an important service to the public by transporting injured / ill patients or donor organs to emergency care facilities. The pressure to safely and quickly conduct these operations in various environmental conditions (such as degraded weather, at night and unfamiliar landing sites) makes EMS operations inherently dangerous, and the hazards associated with EMS operations are resulting in major accidents._x000D_Recently, the US Federal Aviation Administration has published recommendations indicating “Emergency Medical Services (EMS) operators to install terrain awareness and warning systems on their aircraft” (from safety recommendations A-06-15, issued on February 2006 and added to the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) most wanted list in 2008)._x000D_It is reasonable to consider that in the coming years, identical recommendations would be stated by several European countries and others._x000D_It should be noted that a system like TAWS, in contrary to the proposed Heli-FLR system, is totally dependent on a data-base, with no ability of detecting new obstacles and other hazardous elements in real-time._x000D__x000D_Since a big portion of reported helicopter accidents occurred at night and in degraded visibility conditions, while hitting various types of elements (not only terrain), the development of an innovative support system, based on a Radar, would increase helicopter safety of flight, during both flight and landing phases, during day and night, in standard and degraded visibility environment (fog, rain, snow, brownout/whiteout during take-off and landing). _x000D_ _x000D_The major functions of the new Radar system would be:_x000D_- Obstacle detection and terrain awareness during flight and landing phases with a high update rate._x000D_- Detecting key elements in the landing area during landing phase such as slope, holes and obstacles._x000D_- An intuitive visualization and warning systems so that helicopter pilots would not require long training in order to be able to use the system efficiently. _x000D_The Heli-FLR system would combine two different modes: Flight mode and landing mode, a new concept that currently does not exist in the market place. _x000D__x000D_The Heli-FLR system would be low-weight, small size and easy to install on the helicopter, in order to be mounted on light commercial helicopter. The Heli-FLR system would consist of two subsystems:_x000D_-The front-end Radar, with electronics and associated rotating antennas. It would be mounted in a fixed Radome under the helicopter nose._x000D_- The back-end sub-system, with CO computer, used for data storage processing and display generator. The display generated by the CO computer will be displayed on a Multi-Functional-Display (MFD), with an option for Helmet-Mounted Display (HMD) additionally. _x000D__x000D_In order to realize the development of this innovative Radar system, EUROSTARS Programme Consortium would consist of: RST, as a German expert SME in Radar conception and Radar processing; ELBIT Systems, as an Israeli expert in helicopter integration, data base processing and visualization and DRF, as a German representative end-user and tester, with experience in systems certification and EMS operations. This expertise combination would guarantee the effective realization of this project and the conception of prototypes, followed by ground and flight testing._x000D_During the development phase of the programme, it is planned to build two prototypes to support the programme requirements and a parallel development and testing._x000D_It would result, after flight certification, in the production of the Helicopter Flight and Landing Radar system to be introduced to the market._x000D__x000D_Further technical details are available in the annex provided.

Acronym Heli-FLR (Reference Number: 5468)
Duration 01/03/2011 - 31/08/2013
Project Topic Development of an innovative Radar system to be used on helicopter as a support aid in various conditions, both in flight and in landing phase to detect potential obstacles and other hazardous elements, in order to inform the pilot and prevent accidents.
Network Eurostars
Call Eurostars Cut-Off 4

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
3 DRF Stiftung Luftrettung gemeinnützige AG (Non-Profit Plc.) Partner Germany
3 ELBIT Systems Ltd. Partner Israel
3 RST Radar Systemtechnik GmbH Coordinator Germany