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Sep
21
2015

FIVE MYTHS ABOUT ENHANCED VISION SYSTEMS

Posted 6 years 328 days ago ago by Admin

 

Myth 1: Enhanced vision systems (EVS) have only one application.


Many aircraft owners or operators believe that EVS only applies to operations during periods of darkness. However, enhanced vision systems provide increased situational awareness during day, night, NVG, IFR, firefighting, aerial application, EMS, SAR, ALE, and ISR flight operations. Most flight operations occur during periods of reduced visibility that are associated with obscurations such as fog, smoke, haze, dust, snow, precipitation, or low levels of illumination. All of these can be contributing factors when it comes to possible IIMC or CFIT incidents. EVS helps in mitigating these factors by allowing pilots to see clearly.  

Myth 2: We don’t need EVS; we’ve got night vision goggles (NVGs).

I hear this a lot; it’s just not true. EVS complements NVG operations by allowing pilots to see weather and obscurations before they become a hazard. Unfortunately, NVGs can lull pilots into a false sense of security by allowing them to think that they can “go where no one has gone before.” NVGs can penetrate some light obscurations without the pilot being aware of these conditions and this can quickly lead into an IIMC or possible CFIT related event. EVS complements NVG operations during periods of low illumination or high levels of ambient light, while NVGs complement EVS during periods of thermal crossover. Simultaneous operation of EVS and NVGs bring the best of both worlds together. It’s simply a no-brainer!  

Myth 3: EVS is expensive and provides no return on investment.

Based upon new technology, EVS cost is substantially lower. EVS can now be sourced for experimental aircraft (where cost is often prohibitive) to the most expensive corporate and commercial aircraft available. Many OEMs offer EVS as a recommended option. Aftermarket installations are also available for most fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft. EVS preserves assets, invests in flight crew retention, aids in contract award and retention, all while possibly qualifying for insurance rebates. Since 2009, EVS has been identified as one of the best safety enhancements available.

Myth 4: We’ve got a Turret imaging system; we don’t need EVS.

Turreted systems are great, no doubt, but what tools does the pilot have? Normally, either the pilot or crew member not flying is utilizing the turret for mission-specific tasks. EVS provides a dedicated enhanced vision system for the pilot flying the aircraft for increased situational awareness. Turret operations are improved since crew member situational and spatial orientations are enhanced. Possible CFIT-related incidents due to turret orientation are mitigated.

Myth 5: We don’t need EVS, we’ve got a synthetic vision system (SVS)

Synthetic vision is a great leap in technology. SVS depicts a three-dimensional pictorial view of the surrounding terrain with aircraft attitude, heading, obstacle alerts, and terrain advisories. The question is: How current is your database? How accurate is your navigation system? Are all of the known obstacles and hazards depicted in your SVS database? EVS becomes the force multiplier, once again complementing the SVS system. What you see is what you get. Known and unknown hazards are easily observed; SVS position and attitude are instantly verified. Situational awareness and productivity are increased—and pilot workloads are reduced.