Collins Aerospace conducted a test flight of a C-130J aircraft equipped with its Enhanced Vision System (EVS), bringing it one step closer to military and firefighting applications.
Collins’ EVS-3600 uses multiple wave-length cameras to “see-through” poor visibility conditions better than the human eye. The images are shown on head-up displays, allowing pilots to better identify the runway environment in all weather conditions including fog, haze, snow, smoke, dust, blowing sand and low illumination nighttime operations This technology is particularly beneficial for C-130 aircraft given its need in remote areas, its widespread use during natural disasters — such as wildfires — humanitarian relief efforts across the globe and search and rescue efforts.
“The feedback we received from the crew following the test flight confirms what we’ve known for quite some time — this technology can help save lives by improving threat detection while increasing safety margins and mission success rates for our militaries,” said Dave Schreck, vice president and general manager for Military Avionics and Helicopters at Collins Aerospace. “We’re particularly interested in seeing how this technology can assist firefighting crews. Not only will it help them to navigate through heavy smoke and pinpoint hotspots while using C-130s to help stop wildfires, but they can also land and refuel closer to the fires to increase the efficiency of their efforts.”
In military operations, the EVS can also assist with:
In addition, Collins’ EVS system is among the few solutions available that doesn’t need a dedicated cooling system and remains the most compact system certified for Enhanced Flight Vision System (EFVS) Approach and EFVS Landing lower operating minima.
Collins is currently working with Air Mobility Command on a longer, more comprehensive test of the EVS System and is on track to complete the prototype aircraft installation and airworthiness approval in 2023. The upgrade package is expected to be immediately available to the C-130J community thereafter.