"The instrumentation and processing Max-Viz has developed represents a milestone for the enhanced vision systems industry as a whole," said Dr. J. Richard Kerr, Vice President and Chief Technical Officer. "When combined with Rockwell Collins technologies, these resources give pilots the ability to utilize an effective combination of enhanced and synthetic vision in both head-down and head-up (HUD) displays. In addition, the SE-Vision system includes flight guidance symbology."
The SE-Vision system was flown onboard the FAA Technical Center's B727, operating out of Atlantic City, New Jersey. Prime contractor Rockwell Collins provided the displays; an enhanced, ground-object-locating weather radar; the database and synthetic/enhanced vision integration processing system. The test flight program is sponsored by the Human Effectiveness Directorate of the Air Force Research Laboratories.
The technology developed by Max-Viz includes a dual-band model EVS-2500 with image fusion, and separately optimized image enhancement for head-down and head-up displays. This includes new image processing that stabilizes gain and level while completely avoiding scene saturation from hot objects or a cold sky. Company officials say the uncooled infrared cameras performed particularly well against the very cold, snow and ice dominated background scene.
"We continue to lead the market with uncooled infrared technology," said Dr. Richard Kerr, chief scientist at Max-Viz. "Its performance has reached the point where it exceeds that of cryocooled cameras in EVS applications."
Max-Viz also provided the integrated ground-database/image correlation and registration processing from teaming partners DLR (German Aerospace Center) and Research Triangle Institute, respectively. According to Kerr, "this processing permits direct, EVS-based integrity monitoring and derivation of a separate-thread navigation signal. The result is continuous, real-time verification of the synthetic vision imagery and related flight guidance cues."
Extensive, dual-use (commercial/military) tests and demonstrations will also take place in April through June, at both Atlantic City and the Kirtland Air Force Base area. At that time, Max-Viz will add a new provision for EVS sensing of LED-based runway and taxi lighting.
Max-Viz, Inc. is a Portland, Oregon, based company leading in the design, development and manufacture of Enhanced Vision Systems for aviation covering a broad range of aircraft categories and types, including helicopters, business jets and commercial air transports. These systems improve situational awareness and safety using state-of-the-art, uncooled infrared sensor technologies combined with proprietary and patented image processing.