Onboarding technologies to boost helicopter mission efficiency

Igor Sikorsky, the aviation inventor known as the ‘father of the modern helicopter’, once said, “If you are in trouble anywhere, an airplane can fly over and drop you flowers, but a helicopter can land and save your life.”
90 per cent of helicopter flights are for specific mission completion and often for urgent life-saving purposes.  
Time is always of the essence: the faster the helicopter can depart and with better access to mission-vital information, the more likely the mission will be successful: the skier saved, the fire doused, the border secured.
Our challenge is to provide high-technology avionics systems that help crews carry out their mission and act faster in decisive moment while guaranteeing the safety of the flight.
Emmanuel Guyonnet, Strategy & Marketing Director Helicopter Avionics at Thales.

Connectivity and on-board open-world applications are the real game-changers

Thales is working with helicopter operators to improve their operations:
  • For civil or military services, increasing mission efficiency means giving all the participants, on ground and in the air, easy access to real-time information.
  • For emergency medical services, with open-world architecture for in-flight information about the accident zone and optimal landing location.  Rescue workers will be able to conferencing with on-ground medical specialist advisors while transmitting vital patient data, photos and videos to the relevant hospital so it’s ready with a first diagnosis by the time the patient arrives.  This will help save lives in the so-called “golden hour” when every minute counts.
  • For homeland security and search and rescue operations, assuring coordination via over-the-air video downlinks across 4G or second-generation Satcom networks to share high-resolution photos and videos from helicopter to command center.
  • For military missions, helicopter rapid tactical information exchange with ground control as well as with other kinds of aircraft.
  • For civil aviation, onboard connectivity for seamless, office-in-the-sky capabilities for their VIP passengers.
Communications will benefit from cybersecurity protection especially download and upload of software apps and datas.

More open, modular, and intuitive, tomorrow’s cockpit will also boost safety margins by giving pilots a better situational awareness and live share of information helping them making the right decision at the right time

The bottom line for customers: optimized mission duration, reduced operating costs, as well as increased mission efficiency, interoperability and reactivity.
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