EADS Airborne Systems has completed the testing of night-flight capability of its Hellas (Helicopter Laser Radar) obstacle warning system for helicopters as part of the certification effort for the system.

The tests were conducted in co-operation with Eurocopter Germany and the Budeswehr Technical Centre in Manching, Germany. The qualification tests pave the way for the installation of 25 Hellas systems into new Eurocopter EC-135 helicopters for Germany's federal border guard.

Hellas uses an eye-safe laser beam instead of traditional radar to scan the helicopter's environment. The active warning system is based on optical fibre/laser technology in the near-infrared (1.5um) spectrum, providing high-precision detection of obstacles over large distances. Pilots are informed of en route obstacles by optical and acoustic signals, while future developments will include obstacle presentation on a cockpit display. The system was tested to detect various obstacles during low-level flights under visual flight rules conditions, says EADS.

Source: Flight International