Advertisement

First results of LiDAR-aided helicopter approaches during NATO DVE-mitigation trials

  • Michael Zimmermann
  • Martin Gestwa
  • Christian König
  • Jens Wolfram
  • Stephanus Klasen
  • Andreas Lederle
Original Paper
  • 25 Downloads

Abstract

Landing a helicopter on unprepared sites can quickly become a challenging task in operational scenarios. Especially when environmental factors reduce the available visual cues for the pilot, the risk of disorientation increases. Motivated to avoid accidents in degraded visual environments (DVE), the US Army program for DVE-Mitigation (DVE-M) with NATO participation supports international efforts in the development of systems for enhanced situational awareness during DVE. A workgroup of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and HENSOLDT Sensors GmbH participated at flight trials of the European DVE-M campaign in Manching with DLR highly modified research helicopter. The state of a system under development was presented which combines eyes-out tunnel-in-the-sky symbology (SferiAssist®) with dynamic path updates based on a laser sensor. Details of four flights during the campaign in Manching performed in February 2017 are given and discussed in terms of a technical analysis and results of pilot evaluations.

Keywords

Helicopter Approach Hover LiDAR Obstacle Trajectory Tunnel-in-the-sky 

Abbreviations

ACT/FHS

Advanced control technology/flying helicopter simulator

AVES

Air vehicle simulator

DSM

Digital surface model

DVE

Degraded visual environments

EP

Evaluation pilot

FOV

Field of view

FTE

Flight test engineer

HDD

Head down display

HMI

Human–machine interface

HMS/D

Helmet mounted sight display

LiDAR

Light detection and ranging

MFD

Multi-function display

MSL

Mean sea level

SP

Safety pilot

WTD-61

Wehrtechnische Dienststelle 61

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors like to thank all colleagues at the institute of Flight Experiments, Flight Guidance and Flight Systems, who were involved during the time-constrained preparation of the campaign. The constructive feedback by the anonymous reviewers of this article is also greatly appreciated.

Funding

This work has been partially funded with the support of the Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw). Two of the authors are employed at the sensor and systems provider HENSOLDT.

References

  1. 1.
    Anon.: The compendium report: The US JHSAT baseline of helicopter accident analysis, Volume II, (CY2000, CY2001, CY2006). In: US Joint Helicopter Safety Analysis Team (2011)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Anon.: EHEST Analysis of 2006–2010 European helicopter accidents. European Helicopter Safety Team (2015)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Van Donghen, N.: Final report of NIAG SG167 on helicopter operations at low altitude degraded visual environment (DVE). NIAG-D(2013)0014, AC/225(VL)D(2013)0001 (2013)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Münsterer, T., Scheuch, J., Völschow, P., Strobel, M., Roth, M., Fadljevic, D.: Capability Comparison of Pilot Assistance Systems Based Solely on Terrain Databases Versus Sensor DB Fused Data Systems. In: Proc. SPIE 9839, Degraded Visual Environments: Enhanced, Synthetic, and External Vision Solutions 2016, 983905 (2016)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Air Accident Investigation Unit Ireland: Preliminary Report, Accident Sikorsky S-92A, EI-ICR, Black Rock, Co. Mayo, Ireland (2017)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Drwiega, A.: US Army working with NATO on DVE and next gen rotorcraft. Vertiflite (2017)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Szoboszlay, Z., Davis, B., Fujizawa, B., Minor, J., Osmon, M., Morford, Z.: Degraded visual environment mitigation (DVE-M) Program, Yuma 2016 Flight Trials in Brownout. In: American Helicopter Society 73rd Annual Forum & Technology Display, Forth Worth, Texas (2017)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Kaletka, J., Kurscheid, H., Butter, U.: FHS, the new research helicopter: ready for service. J. Aerosp. Sci. Technol. 9(5), 456–467 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Greiser, S., Lantzsch, R., Wolfram, J., Wartmann, J., Müllhäuser, M., Lüken, T., Döhler, U., Peinecke, N.: Results of the pilot assistance system `Assisted low-level flight and landing on unprepared Sites obtained with the ACT/FHS research rotorcraft. Aerosp. Sci. Technol. 45, 215–227 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Duda, H., Gerlach, T., Advani, S., Potter, M.: Design of the DLR AVES Research Flight Simulator. In: AIAA Modelling and Simulation (MST) Conference, August 19–22, 2013, Boston, MA, USAGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Peinecke, N., Döhler, H.-U., Korn, B.: Simulation of imaging radar using graphics hardware acceleration. In: Proc. SPIE 6957, Enhanced and Synthetic Vision: 2008, 69570L (April 15, 2008)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Wolfram, J., Zimmermann, M., Klasen, S., Gestwa, M.: Design of an automatic transition to hover system. German Aerospace Congress, Braunschweig (2016)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Eibert, M., Schäfer, C.H., Stich, H., “Laser-Radar Based Obstacle Avoidance System for Helicopters. In: Proc. of the 17th European Rotorcraft Forum, Berlin, Germany, Sept. 24–27 1991Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Schulz, K.R., Scherbarth, S., Fabry, U.: Hellas: Obstacle Warning system for helicopters. In: Proc. SPIE 4723, Laser Radar Technology and Applications VII, 29 July 2002Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Seidel, C., Samuelis, C., Wegner, M., Münsterer, T., Rumpf, T., Schwartz, I.: Novel Approaches to helicopter obstacle warning. In: Proc. SPIE 6214, Laser Radar Technology and Applications XI, 621406, May 19, 2006Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Stelmash, S., Münsterer, T., Kramper, P., Samuelis, C., Bühler, D., Wegner, M., Sheth, S.: Flight test results of ladar brownout look-through capability. In: Proc. SPIE 9471, Degraded Visual Environments: Enhanced, Synthetic, and External Vision Solutions 2015, 947106 Baltimore, MD, USA June 11, 2015Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Döhler, H.-U., Peinecke, N.: ALLFLight—imaging sensors fused with Ladar data for moving obstacle detection. In: Proceedings of 39th European Rotorcraft Forum, Sept. 03–06: 2013, Moscow, RussiaGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Srikanth, M.B., Mathias, P.C., Naraajan, V., Naidu, P., Poston, T.: Visibility volumes for interactive path optimization. Vis. Comput. 24(7–9), 635–647 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Zimmermann, M.: Flight test results of helicopter approaches with trajectory guidance based on in-flight acquired LIDAR data. In: Proc. SPIE 9839, Degraded Visual Environments: Enhanced, Synthetic, and External Vision Solutions 2016, 983902, 2016Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Münsterer, T., Völschow, P., Singer, B., Strobel, M., Kramper, P.: DVE flight test results of a sensor enhanced 3D conformal pilot support system. In: Proc. SPIE 9471, Degraded Visual Environments: Enhanced, Synthetic, And External Vision Solutions 2015, 947106 Baltimore, MD, USA June 11, 2015Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Anon: NASA Task Load Index V 1.0 Manual - Paper and Pencil Package. Human Performance Research Group, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffet Field (1986)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.German Aerospace Center (DLR)Institute of Flight SystemsBraunschweigGermany
  2. 2.HENSOLDT Sensors GmbHImmenstaadGermany

Personalised recommendations