To make this website work, we log user data. By using Shephard's online services, you agree to our Privacy Policy, including cookie policy.

Open menu Search

PAS 2011: Thales unveils TopOwl upgrade

21st June 2011 - 15:18 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


Thales is developing a software upgrade to its TopOwl helmet mounted sight display (HMSD) to provide synthetic terrain data for use in low-visibility conditions.

The company unveiled the prototype product for the first time at the Paris Air Show, demonstrating the ability to superimpose the synthetic environment in front of the pilot’s eyes, providing visual cues in adverse weather, brownout or whiteout.

Speaking at the air show, Thales vice president and managing director of helicopter avionics Yves Joannic said the new feature has been dubbed ‘augmented reality’ and had been under development for some 12 months.

‘The way forward is to provide to the pilot not just what he directly sees but also the super imposed 3D terrain data that is generated by the database,’ Joannic said.

The company claims the system is an industry-first and could be used with any commercially available terrain database. Detected obstacles could also be displayed in ‘augmented reality’, should the helicopter be equipped with an obstacle warning system.

 Joannic would not be drawn on the expected timetable for flight tests and final certification of the product but noted that it could be provided to existing Top Owl users as a software upgrade.

TopOwl currently is operational on five helicopters: Tiger, NH90, Cobra AH-1Z, Huey UH-1Y and Rooivalk, while an additional programme, the T129, is in progress.

Meanwhile, Thales also reflected a wider trend in aircraft survivability by using the air show to promote its Combat Airborne Threat Surveyor (CATS) family of systems.

The company has developed its radar warning receiver into a central controller able to provide coherent and prioritised threat information to the pilot. CATS can be adapted either as a complete suite or in conjunction with existing in-service systems.

The Shephard News Team


The Shephard News Team

As part of our promise to deliver comprehensive coverage to Premium News and Defence Insight …

Read full bio

Share to