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Skylens wearable HUD gives pilots augmented vision

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May 11, 2014

Skylens gives pilots augmented vision without relying on airport instrumentation

Skylens gives pilots augmented vision without relying on airport instrumentation

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Flying by the seat of your pants through a dense fog while trying to land on a runway that’s (hopefully) where you think it is may sound like the stuff of nightmares, but modern technology can help reduce the risks. Elbit Systems' new Skylens is a wearable head-up display for commercial pilots that is designed to give a better view of proceedings. According to the company, it’s an easy-to-install system capable of giving pilots augmented vision that can help them navigate through fog and darkness.

Possibly second only to having wings on the plane, a pilot’s most important asset is information. Flying during the day in fine weather is one thing, but at night or when clouds close in, a good set of instruments is needed just to learn something as basic as whether or not the craft is flying level or banking into the ground. Over the decades, instruments have evolved into modern Enhanced Flight Vision Systems (EFVS) that put critical flight data right in front of the pilot’s eyes.

Skylens can be retrofitted to existing planes

Designed for the commercial aviation market and for the Clearvision EFVS family, Skylens is a lightweight wearable device consisting of a visor large enough to fit easily over the pilot’s glasses that displays high-resolution data, symbols, and video. Elbit says the Skylens can be retrofitted to existing systems in airplanes and helicopters to provide an augmented view of the outside world with data laid over what the pilot sees – or can't see.

Elbit sees Skylens as usable for both day and night operations and in all weather conditions. It’s designed to overcome low visibility during takeoffs and landings as well as supplying information without having to rely on airport instruments. This gives pilots the capability to not only takeoff and land in low visibility conditions, but also at airfields that previously required planes with EFVS systems to use them.

Skylens is currently being evaluated for an airworthiness certificate and is expected to be in service in 2016.

Source: Elbit Systems

About the Author
David Szondy David Szondy is a freelance writer based in Monroe, Washington. An award-winning playwright, he has contributed to Charged and iQ magazine and is the author of the website Tales of Future Past.   All articles by David Szondy
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5 Comments

Nice and hopefully they will start requiring pilots worthy of such gear again.

Slowburn
12th May, 2014 @ 03:17 am PDT

So can now the F-35 fly right or will they have to admit to an overweight under powered dog.

Brian_KeepitSimpleStupid
12th May, 2014 @ 03:22 am PDT

This has clear relevance for ground operators as well as for military pilots. Additionally, the user needs to be able to easily transmit the whole scene as he sees it, with overlays, to remote viewers. This can ease the "Fog of Battle" problem for combatant commanders as well as for first responders at fires, accident locations, disaster, etc.

StWils
12th May, 2014 @ 10:34 am PDT

This is a display, not a Night Vision Goggle or a Helmet Mounted Sight (without the helmet) There is no scene to transmit to others, with or without overlays. The info displayed is what's already available on the cockpit instruments.

theotherwill
12th May, 2014 @ 04:25 pm PDT

Will: The hard engineering part is getting a lot of complex stuff small, light, & powerful enough to display anything at all. They appear to have a pretty good start on that here. Next, this SHOULD continue to evolve into a HUD with remote sharing and if possible, night vision range as well. Just displaying dashboard info is a rather limited, small thing, literally this would be underachieving.

StWils
13th May, 2014 @ 08:20 am PDT
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