EADS is offering the HELLAS system, assisting helicopter pilots to avoid obstacles and improve flight safety. The laser-based system detects obstacles along the flight path of the helicopter, even if the pilot has difficulties seeing them. It scans the area in front of a helicopter with an eyesafe laser beam, detecting obstacles such as antenna poles, towers and thin wires, at distances of up to 1,000 meters, enabling the pilot to take adequate precautions to bypass the obstacle.
The HELLAS display indicates obstacles in red, over a grey-scale image of the terrain, improving situational awareness. After evaluation by the U.S. Army’s Foreign Comparative Testing program, EADS and DRS Technologies, Inc. established a cooperation to market the system in the USA. The system is currently used by the German Federal Police and the Royal Thai Air Force and foreseen for the installment on the NH90 helicopter.