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EO/IR Special Report: Elbit eyes Brightnite opportunities in Asia-Pacific

12th February 2018 - 12:00 GMT | by Richard Thomas in Singapore

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Elbit Systems is pushing its Brightnite EO/IR capability to a number of potential customers in the Asia Pacific, with the region’s changeable climate and high precipitation often causing problems for traditional night-vision equipment.

BrightNite is a multi-spectral panoramic system that delivers the landscape scenery directly to both eyes of helicopter pilots, enabling head-up eyes-out orientation flight in pitch dark and other low visibility landing conditions. 

The system is comprised of eight FLIR and three EO cameras, providing a 190° FoV for pilots.

In January 2017 the company announced a 30-month contract valued at $17 million for the provision of the multi-spectral capability to an unnamed NATO air force. The system has since been used during UN-sanctioned operations.

An Elbit official told Shephard that due to the high levels of rain and fog in Asia-Pacific, an optical system that could operate in multiple environments would be well suited to the region. The system was recently showcased to visitors attending the recently held Singapore Airshow.

The official added that due to the region’s conflict flashpoints, systems such as Brightnite were likely to be in high demand. However, this was also a capability ‘you can keep in peacetime’, for use in roles such as humanitarian aid and disaster relief.

The system has previously been demonstrated to around 20 potential customers in Asia, the US and Europe in 2017. Meanwhile, another demonstration is planned to take place in the US in Q4 2018, with target markets and clients likely invited to attend.

The sensor fuses day and night cameras into one image to the helicopter pilot, regardless of outer-light conditions.

The system is designed to enable low-flying helicopters to fly safely in difficult terrain, enemy fire and obstacles in the flight path in day/night and degraded visual environment conditions. 

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