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US Army Engages Raytheon to Develop Multispectral Tech
Nov 2011
MCKINNEY, Texas, Nov. 17, 2011 — In support of Blackhawk helicopter operations, the Army has awarded Raytheon Co. of Waltham, Mass., a $14.6 million contract to further develop the company’s Advanced Distributed Aperture System (ADAS). ADAS is a multispectral technology that gives helicopter pilots 360° situational awareness, improving aircraft and crew survivability when operating in low-visibility conditions.

In April, Raytheon successfully completed the integration of ADAS capabilities required by the Department of Defense’s Joint Capability Technology Demonstrations program. During flight testing, ADAS demonstrated mid-wavelength IR and near-IR image fusion, local area processing, hostile-fire indication, landing-assist symbols that appear on the helmet display for operation in low visibility, and IR-range searching and tracking.

The new processor will significantly enhance the system’s high-resolution imagery. The technology upgrade includes thermal cameras and a next-generation helmet-mounted display subsystem. Together these capabilities will enable full-spherical situational awareness in daytime or total darkness, supporting safer flight operations in environments of degraded visibility.

Raytheon has performed more than 200 hours of extensive ADAS testing to demonstrate the system’s capabilities on a UH-60 Blackhawk. Flight demonstrations were conducted at US Army facilities in Virginia and Alabama, and flight testing for the new image processor upgrade is expected to begin in late 2012.

“The deployment of Raytheon’s ADAS technology will directly affect the lives of those in combat,” said Tim Carey, vice president for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Systems at Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems. “This next-generation technology will process images faster, allowing air crews to achieve their mission objectives quickly and with the lowest possible risk.”

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multispectral imaging
Multispectral Imaging: Creation of an image where each pixel contains more than three spectral data points, typically four to 20. This is contrasted with a standard color camera that only captures three spectral data points (called RGB), or hyperspectral cameras, which capture hundreds of spectral data points. Traditional multispectral cameras captured four data points: RGB and an NIR band. Nowadays multispectral cameras are available as commercial off-the-shelf products, with 12 custom bands...
ADASAdvanced Distributed Aperture SystemAlabamaAmericasBlackhawk helicoptersBusinesscamerasConsumercontractsdefenseenergyhelicoptershelmet displayshostile-fire indicatorsImage FusionimagingJoint Capability Technology Demonstrationslanding-assist symbolslocal area processinglow visibilityMassachusettsmid-infraredmultispectral imagingnear-infraredRaytheon Co.Raytheon Space and Airborne Systemssituational awarenessTexasthermal camerasTim CareyUS ArmyVirginia

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