System for Multi-Ship Brown-Out Helicopter Landings
Navy SBIR FY2008.2

Sol No.: Navy SBIR FY2008.2
Topic No.: N08-152
Topic Title: System for Multi-Ship Brown-Out Helicopter Landings
Proposal No.: N082-152-0850
Firm: CG2, Inc., a Quantum3D Company
6330 San Ignacio Avenue
San Jose, California 95119
Contact: Lisa Spencer
Phone: (407) 737-8800
Web Site:
Abstract: Brownout is the number one operational problem facing military rotorcraft today. Visual obscuration, combined with nose-up attitude during landing, make identification of landing area hazards difficult or impossible. Landing multiple helicopters is even more difficult, since the trailing aircraft must contend with the dust cloud resulting from landing the lead aircraft. To address this problem, CG2 is proposing a system that combines data from a LIDAR sensor and CCD or IR cameras mounted on the lead aircraft with user input regarding the flight profile parameters and telemetry from each of the aircraft in the formation to produce recommended flight profiles and synthetic vision displays that allow all of the aircraft to land safely. The system will generate a virtual scene using geometry extracted from the LIDAR data combined with correlated camera imagery so that objects may be identified more easily. The aircraft telemetry will be used to render a real-time scene that accurately depicts the position and orientation of each ship relative to the terrain, with a choice of viewpoints. The solution will be validated in a simulation environment as well as with real sensors, and be capable of running on ruggedized, embedded hardware.
Benefits: Our solution will permit multiple rotorcraft in formation to land safely in brownout conditions, saving lives. The system will also increase the situational awareness and safety of landings in good visibility by identifying wires and other hazards that can be detected with LIDAR but are hard to see visually. The ability to quickly generate an accurate, detailed, 3D model of an area will also benefit more general mapping, mission rehearsal, and training communities.