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IR For Copters

by msecadm4921

Flight instructors are using MicroLED illuminators from CCTV lighting product firm Derwent to remotely view helicopter crews’ performance under low light.

Training providers Thales have recently installed the first infra-red (IR) lamp in a Lynx helicopter flight simulator for the UK’s Army Air Corps in East Anglia. Thales are looking to introduce the same technology to other flight simulator users, including military and commercial airlines. The system will also be demonstrated to the Royal Air Force for potential use in Sea King helicopter flight simulators.
It is important for the flight trainers and assessors, who sit outside the simulators, to see how individuals react during training exercises, according to Thales. When the crew are using night vision goggles for night flying exercises, light levels inside the simulators drop and on-board CCTV cameras struggle to capture an image.
What they say

Thales programme Manager Ron Higgs says: "We did look at buying specialist cameras which use the same night vision goggle technology, but these were prohibitively expensive and not the best solution. Instead we realised that we could achieve the sharpest images using a standard off-the-shelf camera in tandem with the Derwent MicroLED. The images we get now are so clear that the instructors can not only see the crews’ faces, but even what the pointers on the instrument panel are reading. Enhanced with audio recording from the simulator cockpit, we now have a complete picture of how the crews react and interact with each other."
Derwent’s MicroLED is a versatile solid-state illuminator, which provides short range Infra-Red illumination for both indoor and outdoor applications. With its discreet, compact design, it can be used internally or externally in dark areas to improve the performance of CCTV cameras.
"This is a clear example of how good IR lighting can help improve safety and team management," says Derwent Managing Director Stephen Bell.

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