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Avionics | Contracts - Awards | DARPA | Field Reports | Helicopters & Rotary | New Systems Tech | R&D - Contracted | United Technologies | USA

DARPA’s “Sandblaster” Program is On

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MV-22, landing(click to view full) In March 2007, United Technologies subsidiary Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. in Stratford, CT received Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) contract for a program called “Sandblaster.” Sandblaster? Being under a helicopter’s rotors can certainly feel like that, especially in sandy or dusty areas. That’s a problem in current operations, as “brownout” leaves helicopter pilots attempting to land blind – or unable to land at all. Since 1973, the US military says that there have been 21 MH-53 and 10 HH-60G brownout-related accidents within the combat search and rescue force alone. Future operations can also expect to encounter these conditions on a regular basis. Advances in computer processing power and display technologies have led to the development of “synthetic vision systems” for commercial aircraft, and even for some ground vehicles. Could a set of sensors combine their data in a synthetic vision system that lets rotary-wing pilots see, even in total brownout conditions? * Project Sandblaster * Sandblaster and CSAR-X * Contracts and Key Events * Additional Readings Project Sandblaster Happens to everyone:British Lynx(click to view full) DARPA’s Broad Agency Announcement, BAA06-45, posted September 6, 2006: “Sandblaster is a high priority effort to develop and demonstrate effective […]

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