HELIOP - Helicopter Shipdeck Operations

ROSIE maritime environment

Operating helicopter from sea-based platforms is a challenging endeavor due to different factors, like influence of the landing zone on pilot performance, limited field of view during landing maneuver, and degraded visual environment (DVE). To localize the moving restricted landing area and approach safe, pilots have to compensate ship motion in all axes and heave motions of the landing area, as well as ship forward speed and recirculating ship airwake. Different characteristics of Helicopter Shipdeck Operations (HELIOP) are under exploration at the Institute of Helicopter Technology due to different topics of visual and control augmentation.

Therefor different phases of flight during helicopter ship deck operations are analyzed and structured. Needed parameters to the pilot flying during phases of navigation, descent, hover behind deck and landing are presented in a tailored real-time augmentation design via a helmet-mounted display for the eyes-of-of-the-cockpit task according to implemented real ship data. To localize the restricted landing area and approach safe, pilots have to compensate ship motion in pitch, roll, and yaw and heave motions of the landing area, as well as ship forward speed and recirculating ship air wake. The configurable restricted landing area necessitates precise maneuvering to avoid nearby structures of the ship. Existing systems for visual aids in maritime operations such as floodlighting, deck markings, fixed horizon bar, glide path indicator, quiescent period predictor, landing point designator, and hover and approach positioning system deal with different challenges due to not interfere with other instrumentation or overload the pilot with information. 

helicopter ship interface

Detailed requirements for a safe ship deck landing leading to an augmentation design for helicopter ship deck operations will end up in a HMD augmentation design for an „image of the outside world“ how the pilots prefer for naval operations. Furthermore, to face the demand of a Pilot Assistance System (PAS) including instrumentation to the main faces of the helicopter ship deck operations, the PAS concept includes a matrix of head-down (PFD) and head-up instrumentation (HMD) fitted to the pilot needs and to generally enhance the flight safety. Fulfilling helicopter ship deck operations safe with the assistance of the Pilot Assistance System are consolidated to certification and reliability.