Monday, February 1, 2010
Rotorcraft Report: NLR to Study Brownout Reduction Methods
Netherlands’ National Aerospace Laboratory (NLR) is being asked to come up with solutions to the issue of helicopter brownouts, when clouds of sand and dust rise up during a desert landing. The Dutch Ministry of Defense requested the study, with a focus on transport helicopters, including the Chinook. One solution being vetted is helmet-mounted displays, which would allow the pilots to “see” surrounding terrain through sensors. NLR’s program will coincide with other efforts from the U.S., Germany and the U. K., including the development of computer-generated images that are linked to sensors that can see through dust and sand. The MoD notes its rationale for the NLR study is that “no ready-made solutions” to helicopter brownouts have been found to date.