Quad A 2011: Raytheon demonstrates ADAS Proof of Concept
The Advanced Distribution Aperture System (ADAS), Raytheon's situation awareness solution for helicopter pilots and crews has been demonstrated in its full configuration, according to company sources.
Speaking to Shephard at the Quad A annual exposition in Nashville, Neil Peterson, director of strategy and business development at Raytheon's Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Systems, said ADAS was fully integrated and had flown to prove all the requirements for the Joint Capability Technology Demonstration (JCTD). The test flights were conducted earlier in the month at Fort Belvoir, Virginia.
ADAS comprises up to six high-resolution IR sensors mounted around a Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk in the case of the JCTD. According to Raytheon, this allows pilots to 'look through the airframe using helmet-mounted displays'. The system also includes night vision; hostile fire indication; low visibility landing brownout symbology; and IR search and track technology.
However, it was added that the number of sensors utilised could be scaled up or down for various types of helicopters from utility to combat airframes. Raytheon said the sensors could most commonly be located on an aircraft's nose or fuselage. A maximum of six sensors are required for full 360-degree coverage.
Although no formal requirement has been unveiled by the US Army for such a requirement, Raytheon said it expected such a move to come to fruition within a year. 'There is no formal requirement but a study from Congress outlining notional requirements,' Peterson told Shephard.
'The army needs to decide which assets it would like to have such a capability and develop requirements from there,' he continued. Future upgrades could include laser warning; obstacle avoidance and terrain databases; radar; auto-cueing targeting systems as well as potential for unmanned platforms.
An internally funded programme in association with Night Vision Labs, ADAS could also be integrated onto fast-air platforms, Raytheon said. However, Peterson said Raytheon had not been approached by Lockheed Martin or Vision Systems International which is developing a similar system for the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter programme.
Speaking at the Avalon Australian airshow last month, Lockheed Martin officials said alternative options could be considered if VSI's helmet-mounted display system is not mission ready.
The first F-35 Full Mission Simulator was delivered to Eglin Air Force Base's 33rd Fighter Wing on 18 April, according to Lockheed Martin. However, the 360-degree visual display system is using a surrogate helmet as opposed to the VSI solution, the company told Shephard. Training on the simulator is due to begin later in the year.
A Lockheed Martin spokesman said: 'The system is the highest fidelity trainer in the F-35 pilot-training-device suite, accurately replicating all F-35 sensors and weapons deployment.'
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