Army aircraft at Redstone Arsenal could be getting a new radar technology.
The national defense company Elbit Systems of America is working with the Department of Defense to develop a new radar imaging system for Army helicopters.
It uses a lightweight radar to gather real-time information about different terrain and obstacles that might not be visible to the pilot. It displays the data on an augmented reality helmet the company unveiled earlier this year.
Without a system like this, helicopter pilots rely only on their own sight. Depending on weather conditions, that can be nearly impossible.
"It's very tragic, but in the last several years, there's been a number of very unfortunate accidents involving army aircrafts," said Mark Stiner, senior director of customer relations at Elbit. "... This is a system that we think can save lives by preventing accidents and allowing aircrafts to fly much more safely in bad weather, bad visibility."
Elbit is working directly with different U.S. Army bases like Redstone Arsenal to get feedback on the new radar imaging technology.
"This is a product that we're very excited about," Stiner said. "We've been working on it for a number of years, and we've been working on it in collaboration with the U.S. Army. We've had a number of discussions with them over the two years that we've been working on it, and this is the first time that they're getting to see it in flight."
Depending on how many tweaks the Army wants to make, this prototype could be operational in the next two years.