DARPA’s “Sandblaster” Program is OnMar 17, 2009 13:28 UTC
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