Prototype obstacle warning radar, developed at BAE Systems has completed flight testing on a helicopter. The system can operate under all-weather conditions, identifying cables and other obstacles, indicating the pilot the precise altimeter information necessary to negotiate the obstacle through combat flight maneuvering. The system detects cables and other obstacles using low-probability-of-intercept, low-probability-of-detection radar technology.

BAE Systems developed the test program with input from multiple government agencies and performed the evaluation in Arlington, Texas, using Bell Helicopter’s new 430 test aircraft. The system weighs less than 8 pounds, plus antennas, and can detect unknown obstacles at distances greater than 2.5 km. BAE Systems also is developing a commercial version of the system. Elbit System’s El-OP and EADS have already introduced laser based obstacle avoidance systems, developed for similar applications.

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