Thales Adds SVS to TopOwl

By Tish Drake | June 21, 2011
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Thales is adding new capabilities to its TopOwl Helmet Mounted Sight Display (HMSD), the company said Tuesday at the Paris Air Show.

Thales said it is offering an industry-first augmented reality function, which provides helicopter crews with synthetic vision information superimposed on the actual terrain vision. It is made possible through the use of TopOwl’s unique fully overlapped 40-degree field of view.  The 3D Synthetic Vision System imaging (SVS) will give the crew a virtual representation of the world around the helicopter even in adverse weather, brownout or whiteout conditions, where pilots are no longer able to discern the ground from the air due to dust, sand storms or snow, according to Thales. This new function has already been evaluated in flight.

“We leverage Thales expertise in Head Up Displays for both passenger and fighter aircraft together with our experience in Helmet Mounted Sight Displays for helicopters to provide the market with crew-focused innovations," said Yves Joannic, Thales vice president, helicopter avionics activities. "Today, Thales is displaying the new SVS function, which, we believe, will represent a significant step forward in enabling safe helicopter piloting in all weather conditions.”

TopOwl is operational on five major helicopter programmes: Tiger, NH90, Cobra AH-1Z, Huey UH-1Y and Rooivalk. An additional programme, the T129, is in progress. TopOwl has been chosen by 16 countries for their Army, Navy and/or Air Force attack, utility and transport helicopters.

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