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IDEF 2021: Curtain rises for HETS helicopter safety system

17th August 2021 - 09:00 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Turkish-made Helicopter Obstacle Detection System blends lidar and other technologies.

Meteksan is displaying its active laser-based HETS helicopter obstacle detection system for the first time at the IDEF defence exhibition in Istanbul on 17-20 August.

‘The development stage of the product has been completed,’ the company announced in a statement shortly before the show began.

The onboard HETS is designed to improve helicopter safety as a result of a 2019 contract between Turkish defence procurement agency SSB and Meteksan.

According to Shephard Defence Insight, platforms to feature HETS include the T129 Atak attack and reconnaissance helicopter.

HETS employs a fibre laser with a wavelength of 1550nm. It can detect structures such as buildings, towers, poles, power lines, and natural obstacles such as trees, forests, and hills, providing audible and visual warnings to pilots.

Meteksan claims that by supporting different interfaces for easy integration into different helicopter platforms, ‘the system differs from its competitors in the world with its low power consumption and low weight’.

HETS can detect horizontal and vertical obstacles as narrow as 5mm power lines by scanning twice a second in a 30-40° field-of-view. The system has a maximum detection range of 1,500m.

The system blends lidar, high-precision signal engineering and a user-friendly visualisation capability to give visual and audible warnings to helicopter pilots about obstacles at appropriate times, according to Meteksan.

HETS supports MIL-STD-1553, RS-422, and ARINC-429 interfaces for use in integrated structures as well as producing video for multifunction displays.

The system is also compatible with multiple rotary-wing types and the system strictly adheres to the MIL-SRD-461F military standards as well as MIL-STD-810G environmental standards. 

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