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12 Nov 08 GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms today announced the IMP20 Video Processing Mezzanine Card. Designed to significantly increase the ease with which images from multiple sensors and cameras can be assimilated and interpreted, thus speeding reaction time and potentially saving lives, the IMP20 adds image fusion capabilities to the GE Fanuc ADEPT104 and AIM12 automatic video trackers. It allows the design of highly integrated, high performance graphics capabilities in any environment where the input from multiple devices needs to be fused in order to provide a complete, easy-to-interpret image. When configured with the IMP20, the ADEPT104 and AIM12 automatic video trackers provide a powerful system for detection, tracking, stabilization and fusion that delivers better performance than existing software-based solutions and can be used in harsher environments than other hardware-based solutions. Without the capabilities of the IMP20, an operator would need to scan multiple screens, each of which was displaying an image from a different type of sensor or camera such as color-visible, near infrared or thermal infrared, reducing the speed with which the operator could react to a potentially hazardous situation. Worse: only a single display might be available, meaning that the operator would need to cycle through a number of inputs. The IMP20 ‘fuses’ multiple sensor or camera inputs into a single on-screen image, making interpretation easier and allowing faster reaction. The US Army Research Laboratory (ARL) recently tested blast mitigation seats from the world’s leading manufacturers to evaluate their protection levels for use in MRAP and other combat vehicle programs. ARL evaluated 15 seats, with results concluding Allen Vanguard’s seats outperform all others by offering the highest vertical shock isolation rating.
The testing was conducted to determine each seat’s Dynamic Response Index (DRI), a metric used to quantify the level of injury to a vehicle occupant. The Allen Vanguard blast mitigation seat was proven to offer best in class vertical shock isolation to vehicle occupants. The ARL test series was very aggressive and repeatedly subjected each seat to increasing simulated vertical blast forces until the limit of each seat was attained. As the blast levels increased, the design of the Allen Vanguard seat distinguished itself through its energy absorbing capabilities. This technology dissipates energy to provide superior protection from an initial blast force, but uses a Recoverable Attenuation System (RAS) to protect occupants against the secondary ‘slam down’ effect observed in combat theatres. Further details of the test protocol seats are available upon request.
12 Nov 08. The Lockheed Martin Pathfinder flight team has successfully completed the first flight of its fully integrated Pathfinder advanced pilotage system on an Army HH-60L Black Hawk MEDEVAC helicopter at Felker Army Airfield, Fort Eustis, VA. This first flight marks the beginning of the developmental test phase for this state-of-the-art cargo and utility aircraft pilotage system, derived from the AH-64D Apache’s Modernized Pilot Night Vision Sensor (M-PNVS). Test pilots and flight engineers from the U.S. Army’s Aviation Applied Technology Directorate are evaluating Pathfinder’s technical readiness level for application on cargo and utility aircraft. “In the short time we have been at Fort Eustis, we already have demonstrated Pathfinder’s pilotage capability as a fully integrated sensor system for the Army’s cargo and utility helicopter community,” said Monty Watson, Pathfinder program manager at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “It will be a great asset for Warfighters.” Following the developmental testing, Army aircrews will participate in a limited user test to evaluate the system in an operational environment. The aircrews will come from the U. S. Army