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Raytheon Nets $17.9 Million Award for Prototype Sensor

15th October 2008 - 01:00 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


The U.S. Army has awarded Raytheon Company a $17.9 million contract to develop a sensor system prototype to give helicopter crews full day or night spherical situational awareness while eliminating visual obstructions caused by the airframe and its contents.

The Joint Capability Technology Demonstration award Sept. 9 is initially funded at $4.7 million and calls for further development of Raytheon's Advanced Distributed Aperture System intended for rotary wing applications. The multi-sensor system and combined helmet display allow pilots to see around the cockpit and other parts of a helicopter in daylight and darkness.

"It not only provides situational awareness around the aircraft, it does so with acuity better than your standard high-definition television," said Michael Scrofano, Raytheon manager for the prototype program. "The system solves a long-standing problem for helicopter pilots to see and navigate in the dark, giving them the capability to identify and avoid navigation hazards, such as power lines."

Along with aiding in pilotage, the multiple infrared-sensor system could have missile warning and weapons support applications, he said.

The system consists of up to six infrared sensors distributed on a helicopter and digitally combined to provide a seamless sphere of coverage. Raytheon is developing the system with the Army's Research, Development and Engineering Command; Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center; and Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate. The company has already tested initial prototypes and has demonstrated the system's capabilities on a UH-60 helicopter.

The Shephard News Team


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