News > Improving flight safety: American Eurocopter to offer the ALERTS Vision 1000 system as standard equipment on AStar helicopters
February 23, 2009
American Eurocopterâ€™s announcement that all new AStar family helicopters will be delivered with an innovative flight data monitoring and cockpit imaging device as standard equipment beginning next year has created a â€śbuzzâ€ť at this weekâ€™s HELI-EXPO 2009 convention in Anaheim, California.
President & CEO Marc Paganini announced this latest company-led safety initiative during Eurocopterâ€™s press conference at HELI-EXPO 2009, where he told journalists that AStar deliveries with the ALERTS Vision 1000 will start in early 2010.
One of these units already is installed in a Los Angeles Police Department AS350 B2 helicopter displayed at HELI-EXPO 2009, which is attracting a steady flow of visitors on Eurocopterâ€™s exhibit stand in the Anaheim Convention center.Â
LAPD is the launch customer for Vision 1000, which weighs 300 grams and is installed on the cockpit ceiling â€“ requiring only a 28 Volt DC power connection and grounding.Â This eliminates the extensive integration with cockpit and aircraft systems that is necessary with other flight data management products.
â€śWe will start with Vision 1000 as standard equipment on U.S.-delivered AStar family aircraft in the next year, and it will be extended to other helicopters â€“ as well as offered for retrofit at a price of under $10,000,â€ť Paganini said. â€śFrom what we hear, this system also is generating interest with operators of larger helicopters, even for those aircraft that already have sophisticated Health and Usage Monitoring Systems.â€ť
The Vision 1000 device collects inertial and positioning data, acoustic data and cockpit imagery, which are stored on a crash-hardened memory module, as well as a removable secure digital card.Â This information is processed internally for use in Flight Operations Quality Assurance (FOQA), flight training, operational loads monitoring and accident investigation.
In addition to images and ambient audio recorded by Vision 1000, the device also collects the following data: time; date; longitude; latitude; altitude; ground speed; vertical speed; heading; pitch and roll attitude; pitch, roll and yaw rates; as well as normal, lateral and longitudinal acceleration.
The Vision 1000â€™s field of view and focal length for the recording of imagery are variable, with the configuration determined by the customer via a setup tool.Â Typical visual coverage area includes the instrument panel, pilotâ€™s cyclic, upper end of the collective, the anti-torque pedals and the external environment.Â Visual imagery is collected in all lighting conditions, including with the use of night vision goggles.
Vision 1000 is the result of a cooperative effort involving American Eurocopter, its Eurocopter Group parent companyâ€™s Fleet Safety department, and Appareo Systems. Â
The device is part of Appareo Systemsâ€™ ALERTS (Aircraft Logging and Event Recording for Training and Safety) system product line, and its certification for AStar family helicopters later this year will be handled under a Supplemental Type Certificate.
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