Cape Town - Airbus Helicopters announced that it's currently developing an experimental on-board navigation system that can help with obstacle avoidance and automatic landings.
Project Eagle, short for Eye for Autonomous Guidance and Landing Extension, aims to innovate for the future of vertical flight which will help improve a pilot's situational awareness and navigate difficult landings and take offs.
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“While existing missions such as search and rescue and offshore transportation will benefit from Eagle’s capabilities, the system will also help address future requirements for operations in urban environments”, said Tomasz Krysinski, Airbus Helicopters Vice-President of Research & Technology.
“Ultimately, thanks to its ability to provide increased situation awareness, Eagle will also contribute to improve the safety, autonomy and performance of future unmanned vehicles.”
There have been ground tests of the system since May, with flight tests on a testbed helicopter to start soon. The system relies on a gyro-stabilised optronics package, with three hi-res cameras and powerful processing units, as well as on-board video analytics for object detection and tracking, digital noise reduction and deep learning.
The future of Eagle is very bright, with potential applications that will incorporate a laser and potentially improve search lights and 3D terrain reconstruction.
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