Advanced all weather helicopter radar
German and Israeli partners have developed a novel high-frequency radar system for helicopters that works day or night and cuts through prevailing weather to provide an accurate reading of the surroundings. The system, designed and tested at lower altitudes during the HELI-FLR project, uses interferometric 3D-topograpy to map the near-field area and warn pilots of obstacles like antenna, cables/ wires, buildings and uneven landing surfaces.
Interferometry is a technique that measures interference or how waves (light, radio or sound) change when bouncing off materials or objects like hilltops. The wave displacement is analysed, calibrated and displayed through an easy-to-interpret interface, including a technically advanced “final approach mode” with colour-coded altitude visualisation tools. Pilots working for a helicopter-based rescue organisation provided feedback on tricky flying conditions during their trials of the new radar system. With some final developments to extend the system’s range, it could prove to be a life-changing addition to low-flying aircraft safety.
Project funded by Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung BMBF (Germany) and Israel Europe R&D Directorate ISERD Israel
- RST Radar Systemtechnik Gmbh (Germany – SME and leading role)
- DRF Stiftung Luftrettung Gemeinnützige Ag (Germany – end-user)
- Elbit Systems Ltd (Israel – SME))