search.noResults

search.searching

dataCollection.invalidEmail
note.createNoteMessage

search.noResults

search.searching

orderForm.title

orderForm.productCode
orderForm.description
orderForm.quantity
orderForm.itemPrice
orderForm.price
orderForm.totalPrice
orderForm.deliveryDetails.billingAddress
orderForm.deliveryDetails.deliveryAddress
orderForm.noItems
A Hunger for Technological Solutions


It may seem strange to start a story about advances in helicopter SAR technology with the tale of this unsuccessful SAR mission. Yet, the fact that this rescue could even be attempted speaks to the advanced state of helicopter SAR technology today – and the commitment by the NPS and other SAR operators to make seemingly impossible missions possible through the use of advanced technology.


The NPS has been pushing the boundaries of helicopter SAR by deploying remote- controlled drones, like the 3DR Solo, to


provide enhanced reconnaissance


capabilities to SAR crews. “The drones allow us to peek over ledges and other obstacles in the Grand Canyon without having to deploy helicopters with people on board,” said Strohmeyer. “However, high altitude, short battery life, and subfreezing temperatures make drones incompatible for mountain rescue operations in Denali.”


The U.S. Coast Guard is using night vision goggles (NVG) and enhanced EO/IR video cameras, and evaluating unmanned aircraft system technology, to enhance its helicopter SAR capabilities. In addition, the Coast Guard is exploring the addition of two sensing technologies on its Sikorsky MH-60 Jayhawk and Aerospatiale MH- 65 Dolphin SAR helicopters. These technologies are Visual Detecting and Ranging (ViDAR) and Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR).


As the name suggests, ViDAR is suited for daytime searches when visible light is available. Made by Sentient Vision Systems, ViDAR is designed to serve as an “optical radar system” by using a “single or multiple nine-megapixel secondary sensor(s) and onboard automation software designed to automatically detect objects on the ocean in real time,” states the company’s website at www. sentientvision.com. “The nine megapixel sensors operate akin to an airborne radar, but in the visual domain, by sending objects detected to the operator for further analysis by the aircraft’s primary sensor.” The ViDAR equipment is built into an external pod that can be mounted on


48 July/Aug 2019


various points on a SAR helicopter and integrated with its onboard sensor suite.


In contrast, LiDAR “is a remote sensing method that uses light in the form of a pulsed laser to measure ranges (variable distances) to the Earth,” states the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) website at oceanservice.noaa. gov. “These light pulses – combined with other data recorded by the airborne system – generate precise, three-dimensional information about the shape of the Earth and its surface characteristics.” This makes LiDAR a very useful tool for nighttime SAR missions.


“ViDAR may provide a tremendous enhancement to visible light searches,” said Scott Craig, Air Domain Lead with the U.S. Coast Guard Office of Research, Development, Test & Evaluation. “Using the EO/IR is like viewing the ocean through a straw; your field of view is extremely small. Likewise, small objects are difficult to pick out on the ocean’s surface using just your eyes. ViDAR can take in the entire scene — like radar does — and can potentially spot a distinct object like a floating person from a mile away. You can spot a mariner much better using ViDAR than a human eyeball can.” To minimize false positives, ViDAR’s search data is filtered by the system’s software, with meaningful results being displayed to SAR technicians in the helicopter.


As a detection technology, ViDAR appears superior to LiDAR in daylight conditions in terms of actionable information it provides to SAR operators. This is why the Coast Guard is interested in advancements to expand ViDAR’s application in low-light conditions. Still, LiDAR could be a useful supplement to nighttime searches over water and the cruder image returns provided by conventional airborne radar. As a result, ViDAR and LiDAR could find their way into Coast Guard SAR helicopters in the foreseeable future.


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90