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This paper is on the latest technology in police aviation. It will discuss everything from heads-up displays to night vision, thermal imaging, and much more. Some of the information I found in this paper is controversial, but the fact is that the technology is there and it does exist. New Technologies For Police Helicopters
Air support units operate high-tech helicopters or better referred to as eyes in the sky. The helicopters can cover more than 3204 miles and attend more than 5600 incidences year. These searches include looking for possible traffic accidents, missing or wanted people, vehicle pursuits, and proactive operations to smash crime and put the offenders in jail. Helicopters are also equipped to help carry injured to the hospital or other police officers to a tactical mission. The police helicopter crew can also act as vital airborne command and control post during complicated incidents. The IAS 97 are aero copters or 135's have special noise reduction features, including distinctive and closed rear rotors to avoid disturbing residences. The helicopters are also packed the latest high-tech crime fighting equipment live cameras, still cameras, thermal imaging technology, sky shout which is a public address system, powerful Nite Sun lighting better known as a spotlight and VHF receivers to track stolen vehicles fitted with tracking type systems. These helicopter units carry out numerous photographic or surveillance task for officers, helping with everything from planning search warrants to gathering evidence. Let's talk about digital displays, the newest helicopters have digital displays, active matrix crystal displays that are 4-by-5 inch displays for flight controls, two of the displays one on each side of the panel service as the primary flight display, shows a electronic artificial horizon, electronic attitude direction indicators or ADI, altitude vertical speed, autopilot mode and instrument landing system or ILS with heading scale. The other two displays serve as navigational displays showing radio navigation sources, automatic bearing, DME, map and route data. Our display system is a multifunction display with a 3 X 4 inch screens, and a 3 X 4 inch caution advisory display. Schematics, caution advisory display so you can see everything from weather doors are open to an engine going out or if there's a fire it will not only show you on the caution advisory display but it will tell you by saying (warning), depending on the severity of the alert. There is also one or two portrait format displays that are 6- by - 8 inch, which can serve as enhanced navigational display or a mission display presenting, infrared imagery. Outsources these displays receive navigation and flight data. A radiant processor located in the aircraft will link to the panel by ARINC 429 data buses. These processors collect and prepare data from the sensors or computer for transmission to the smart displays which create the imagery. These displays are controlled by buttons alongside the screen. The center console also includes a control box for the aircraft attitude heading reference system. These integrated display systems allows the pilot to transfer data from one display to another, should there be a display failure. The system also includes automatic transition between the navigational display and the primary flight display on each side of the panel and along the VEMD and CAD displays. At the moment there are three avionics packages, Tailored for three different type mission capabilities. Perhaps the displays for helicopter pilots must constantly scan various instruments to monitor, engine and transmission, gearbox and engine oil temperatures, and outside air temperatures. The nice thing about the digital display indicators is that the flight control display module processor takes in the engine, aircraft and atmospheric parameters, fuses the data and then automatically indicates to the pilot the first limit he or she will reach during a period of flight. Lets say it is a cold day, the transmission torque maybe the first limit; during a hot day engine N1 speed would probably be the first limit. Regardless the pilot looks at just one needle, if it does not going to the red line all systems are within their limits. There's also many other advantages that digital displays have inside helicopter cockpit to assist the police pilot. Now let's talk a little bit about FLIR systems. FLIR Systems or thermal imaging camera is a multi-sensor, compact, lightweight turret with excellent infrared sensitivity. The Ultra 8000 is one of the most popularly used by police pilots and there TFOâ€™s. Today it incorporates an infrared sensor with 10x optical zoom and a daylight sensor with18x optical zoom. The gimbal rotates 360 degrees and its stabilization technology enables crisp, detailed images, auto tracker and extended range camera versions are also used today in many different types of police helicopters. Another important tool used by the police is spotlight there are different types of spotlights used in police helicopters one of the most popular is known as the Night Sun spotlight, another is the Traka beam it uses different types of filters to assist other equipment on board the helicopter. I searched all over the internet trying to find out more information on these spotlights, used by the police department on helicopters but it was not available on the internet very closely protected. Not open to public information. Another useful tool is night vision goggles used by the pilot. How the night vision goggles work is with a sophisticated optics. This electronic device can assist viewing at night with either near or complete darkness by amplifying all available light. A night vision device offer a built-in infrared or IR illuminator that act as a night vision light and provides additional light making viewing in complete darkness a reality. There are four different types of generation night vision devices. The range is from 0m to 600m, here is a brief break down of how the system work and where the lenses go. (This break down and information was provided by Optics Planet.com)
night vision system
Another important tool is the VHF or Very High Frequency radio receivers. It is very important for the police helicopter pilot to be able to us the communication system to command and control the aircraft through the use of very high frequency radio receiver. This special communication system called air band helps aid in radio navigation of flight. Also effective high speed communication is important between the pilot and the control tower. For police radio communication is a very important component. The police helicopter also is equipped with UHF or Ultra High Frequency radios. CB or citizen band and their own police band radio to communicate with officer on the ground. Without the use of communication the police helicopter pilot and his TFO could not do their job effectively. The nicest thing about this is that this type of equipment, thanks to technology is get lighter and smaller so it takes up less space in tight places and its reliability is getting better and better.
This is just a picture I found on the internet of the avionics and displays of what I have been talking about. This is the latest and greatest technology in aviation today. One of the newest advances in police helicopters is noise reduction. The best way to understand how it works is first to talk about what happens when a helicopter blade is moving through the air. Extremely loud noise is made by the helicopter primarily from the blades chopping through eddies of their own wakes, something known as blade vortex interaction. With the changing of the shape of the rotor blades, blade vortex interaction makes only the sound of a whisper or in other words the volume of only 3 to 4 dB. By using noise reduction police helicopters the police helicopter platform becomes a more useful tool in apprehending criminals. It allows them to however without being detected by the criminal element. It also helps in compliance from residences as well. This is a pic of one of the latest in blade technologies that I found.
What are these type of blades for airfoils known in the aviation field or developed this from the research by using wind tunnels. The best-known wind tunnel on the West Coast is at Moffett Field California right between San Jose and San Francisco. Without the use of these wind tunnels we would not be allowed developed this type of technology wind tunnels play a vital role in the aviation community and helping to develop better aerodynamics for the use in the latest aircraft.