Product Spotlight: A Former Army Pilot Talks DVE Solutions

January 12, 2022

DVEJosh B. is the director of business development for SNC’s Mission Solutions and Technologies (MST) business area and a former Apache helicopter pilot for the U.S. Army. Here he tells us what it’s like to fly in Degraded Visual Environment (DVE) conditions and how SNC’s DVE Solutions could have improved mission operations when he was a pilot.

“The DVE Solution is a tremendous capability. Unfortunately, I never had that opportunity to fly it when I was in service, based off the aircraft I flew, but overarching it's an incredible capability that frankly saves lives every day.”

Let’s talk DVE. What is it and why does it matter?

DVE CockpitDVE is the loss of visual cues for a pilot in flight – either takeoff, landing or enroute. DVE conditions include weather such as rain, snow and fog as well as dust, sand and smoke.

At some point in our lives, most of us have experienced driving down the highway in fog or a snowstorm. We have the option to slow down or even pull off to the side of the road to avoid an accident. Now imagine that same experience while flying a helicopter. You don’t have the benefit of pulling over to stop, and might not even be able to see the ground to attempt landing. It can be very dangerous for pilots to operate in these conditions.

“Brownouts – having flown in those environments, I will tell you, we like to call it a significant emotional event. Seeing what the capability of these systems can do, they turn an emotional event into just kind of a standard landing.”

SNC’s DVE solutions provide increased flight safety and operational capability by restoring pilot situational awareness in currently prohibitive degraded visual environments. These configurable, multi-sensor systems utilize input from a number of passive and active, high-resolution and deep penetrating sensors to provide real-time imagery and command guidance throughout the entire flight.

“I will tell you, probably more so than any other platform that I flew around to serve with the Army, the MEDEVAC aircraft, truly landed in some very austere environments. In not only in brownout, but in brownout conditions around very condensed, populated areas, urban environments, wires – a lot of hazards. So these DVE systems are certainly going to help those pilots be able to go in and execute their mission and not only keep themselves safe as an aircrew, but also take care of those service members that need help on the ground.”

Click here to learn more about SNC’s DVE Solutions.

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