What Areté Does

In the Air

Areté has significantly improved the safety of rotary-wing aircraft by conceiving, developing, and delivering Degraded Visual Environment (DVE) capability to the military. DVE directly addresses the challenge of operating in dust-up conditions, snowstorms, heavy rain, and fog. Areté’s lidar sensing, real-time signal processing and sensor integration provide unmatched capability in low-SWAP-C configurations. Key customers include the U.S. Army, the U.S. Air Force, and the Special Operations Command.


Brownout from wind and sand has been a hazard to helicopter pilots since the United States began operations in the Middle East. Hundreds of helicopter crashes have taken their toll.

We discovered a way to capture and display high-resolution, high frame rate, geo-referenced, 3D real-time imagery in severe brownout and other limiting visual conditions.

We developed a lidar (light detection and ranging) system that can rapidly generate a 3D map of the landing zone and obstacles that pose a threat to the aircraft in realtime. DVE Lidar can be used as a standalone or turret-integrated assembly. The 3D data can be fused with other sensor data (such as visual and radar) and with existing 3D terrain databases, resulting comprehensive views of the battlespace.

We delivered DVE Lidars in support of the Prime to the U.S. Army, Special Operations Command, and the U.S Air Force.



Most laser designators use a lot of power, are heavy, and don’t perform well over a wide range of environmental conditions.

We discovered a way to exploit laser technology that established a new standard in size for lasers of this class.

We developed an athermal, lightweight laser designator that can be used in handheld, drone, and aircraft configurations. Areté’s AIRTRAC-LD (laser designator) is a ruggedized, high-shock laser with >50 mJ pulse energy. AIRTRAC provides full NATO STANAG 3733 capability in a very compact, lightweight, and low-power configuration. AIRTRAC-LD provides high laser pulse energy over the full MIL-SPEC temperature range with low beam divergence, weighing less than a pound and with a range of 6 km.

We delivered units to several branches of the military, including the U.S. Army. The design allows for a variety of laser wavelengths, depending on where and how it will be used.