Sierra Nevada Corporation has been awarded a production contract to supply and support the Degraded Visual Environment Pilotage System (DVEPS) on U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) and select U.S. Army aircraft.
SNC DVE Solutions enhance visibility and situational awareness for aircrews in low-visibility conditions, enabling them to “see and avoid” obstacles in their flight path during takeoff, enroute and landing phases of flight, the company said in a statement Tuesday.
“DVEPS will enhance aircraft survivability throughout the entire mission profile by providing critical capabilities not available on current aircraft, such as terrain and obstacle detection, highlighting and alerts,” said SNC CEO Fatih Ozmen.
The DVEPS is a multi-sensor system providing real-time situational awareness to aid pilots in maintaining spatial awareness during and after transition from Visual Meteorological Conditions (VMC) to DVE conditions.
“DVEPS provides the foundation for an incremental growth path to a much great capability such as pilotage or supervised autonomy, fully relevant for future vertical lift (FVL) aircraft,” said Greg Cox, executive vice president for SNC’s Electronic and Information Systems business area.
Aviation crews flying closer to the ground in limited visibility conditions will need to be aware of, and avoid, unseen dangerous terrain and obstacles in their path—from trees, to electrical wires, to towers. SNC DVE technology provides terrain and obstacle awareness, including cable and wire detection, in limited visibility conditions, anywhere and at any time. It also allows aircrews to complete missions safely and successfully in multi-ship operations and degraded navigation environments.
SNC was competitively selected for the third phase DVEPS task order following a successful airborne test at the Yuma Proving Grounds in Arizona in 2015. This final phase includes full-rate production of DVEPS systems in Sparks, Nevada.