Lockheed Martin’s Next-Gen, 360-Degree Vision System Flies on the Bell V-280 Valor

(image courtesy: Bell Helicopter Textron Inc.)

Lockheed Martin Corporation ’s (Lockheed Martin) next-generation, multispectral, 360-degree imaging system flew for the first time on the Bell V-280 Valor  tiltrotor aircraft currently under development by Bell Helicopter Textron Inc.  (Bell Helicopter) for the U.S. Army Future Vertical Lift (FVL) program. The imagining system, or Pilotage Distributed Aperture Sensor  (PDAS) system, is designed to enhance situational awareness and threat detection for pilots and auxiliary personnel in visually degraded environments.

According to Lockheed Martin, the PDAS system “captured complete spherical infrared imagery while operating in a high-speed, tactically relevant flight environment and generated real-time imagery,” with six infrared sensors distributed around the V-280. The imagery was directly linked to high-definition head-tracked aircrew helmets and stationary cockpit displays by an open-architecture processor (OAP), demonstrating the system’s ability to provide simultaneous coverage to multiple independent displays.

William Kucinski  is content editor at SAE International, Aerospace Products Group in Warrendale, Pa. Previously, he worked as a writer at the NASA Safety Center in Cleveland, Ohio and was responsible for writing the agency’s System Failure Case Studies. His interests include literally anything that has to do with space, past and present military aircraft, and propulsion technology.

Contact him regarding any article or collaboration ideas by e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..