DARPA selects Rockwell Collins for avionics program
June 7, 2012, Cedar Rapids, Iowa - The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has selected Rockwell Collins to develop the synthetic vision avionics backbone for next generation helicopter operations under the Multi-Function Radio Frequency (MFRF) program.
By Carey Fredericks
Rockwell Collins is teamed with BAE Systems on the first two phases of the $5.1 million contract. An optional third phase would bring the contract value to $6 million.
The DARPA MFRF contract calls for Rockwell Collins to develop a 3D synthetic vision-based imagery system that will be used with multifunction radar. Rockwell Collins will fuse radar data with terrain and obstacle data to produce an integrated 3D view of the operational environment.
"Rockwell Collins has been an industry leader in developing synthetic vision for commercial aircraft and helicopters and now we're bringing that capability to the military rotary-wing market segment," said Dave Nieuwsma, vice president and general manager of Airborne Solutions for Rockwell Collins. "Working with the Army, we have successfully flight tested this technology on a Black Hawk helicopter and are looking forward to working with DARPA to further develop this capability."
The U.S. Army Black Hawk synthetic vision flight tests were conducted in conjunction with a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement between Rockwell Collins and the U.S. Army's Aviation Applied Technology Directorate. The agreement calls for Rockwell Collins to provide its CAAS cockpit as a test bed, enabling the Army to quickly develop and demonstrate new technology for the warfighter in a cost-effective manner.