Prime contractor Cobham Aviation Services has selected Sentient’s Kestrel Maritime ViDAR (Visual Detection and Ranging) system for fitment to the four Challenger 604 search-and-rescue aircraft it will operate for the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, giving the aircraft an “unprecedented” ability to visually detect and track objects and people in the water.
All four Challengers will mount three fixed ViDAR sensors and an integrated processing system to cue the primary MX-15 sensor to detected objects.
“The real benefit we see in ViDAR is the ability to maintain a consistent quality visual search that has the same probability of detection in the first hour through to the last hour of an eight-hour mission,” Cobham business development director Anthony Patterson said in a statement.
“Visual searching with the human eye is very fatiguing and diminishes over time as crew fatigue. This is the first product that offers the potential to offset the human fatigue factor for search-and-rescue operations, and we are very excited about the benefits.”