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Synthetic Vision Technology Demonstration. Volume 1. Executive Summary
FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION WASHINGTON DC
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This report contains the description and results of a Synthetic Vision technology demonstration program conducted jointly by the Federal Aviation Administration, the Department of Defense and industry. The relevant technologies including millimeter wave radar sensors, infrared sensors, head-up displays, and computer processing were developed and tested in static tower tests and in flight tests in which the weather conditions were carefully measured and documented. The purpose of the program was to evaluate and demonstrate the performance of the imaging sensors and of the complete imaging system during aircraft approaches and landings in low-visibility conditions. The static tower test facility used was the Avionics Tower Test Facility, located at Wright Patterson AFB, in which candidate sensors were set up at approximately 260 feet overlooking a nearby runway. The runway scene imaged by the sensors was instrumented to carefully measure the characteristics of fog, rain and snow as those conditions occurred in 1991-1992. Sensor performance and phenomenology was then fully characterized to provide a basis for further sensor development and for selection of sensors with which to proceed to flight test. The test aircraft used was a Gulfstream 11 configured with a comprehensive data collection system and instrumentation to permit measurement of fog and precipitation through which the aircraft was flown as well as system and pilot performance during those operations. Millimeter wave sensors and an infrared sensor were used to provide an electronic image of the runway on both head-up and head-down displays during approach landing and takeoff. Test and demonstration flights were flown into 27 difference airports in a wide variety of rain, fog and snow conditions during the period of May through December, 1992.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE