SOCOM close to eliminating hazardous brownout landings for helicopter pilots.

May 16, 2020

Yahoo! News featured Areté’s DVE (Degraded Visual Environment) Lidar technology as it reported that Special Operations Command (SOCOM) is close to being able to outfit its combat helicopter pilots with the ability to see through severe brownout and other conditions, so that pilots can take off and land safely.

This technology has become necessary in battlespace operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, where helicopter crashes have become commonplace. Poor visibility for helicopter pilots accounts for 65% of non-combat deaths, according to a news story in the Journal of Joint Air Power Competence Center.

The Yahoo! story quotes the head of U.S. Special Operations Command’s Program Executive Officer Rotary Wing, Geoffrey Downer. “Our efforts have primarily focused on providing a full system to provide complete situational awareness in a brownout environment.”