Thales TopOwl

TopOwl flies through tests for new extreme-condition applications

5th May 2010


The Thales TopOwl flew through its latest series of tests for extreme-condition applications, according to the company confirming it as the leading Helmet Mounted Sight Display system of its kind, with performance continuously honed to the highest level possible.

As part of the successfully completed series of flight tests, TopOwl was connected to latest technology sensors to demonstrate that it meets increasingly rigorous demands for safe flight perations in degraded visual environments such as night, brownout, and whiteout.

TopOwl displayed high resolution FLIR, symbology, and Intensified Images onboard several new generation rotorcraft, including a limited evaluation on the Apache AH-64D.

These test campaigns demonstrated that TopOwl - currently deployed in Afghanistan onboard international helicopter platforms - allows pilots to fly “head-up and eyes-out” by day or night and in extreme conditions, thereby strongly contributing to safety.

TopOwl enables pilots to display both high resolution FLIR and high performance night vision images right in front of their eyes, and to switch easily and instantaneously between both.

The Aviation Applied Technology Directorate (AATD) recently completed a partial evaluation of the Thales Top Owl Helmet Mounted Sight and Display system on an AH-64D Apache. While the scope of the integration and subsequent testing was limited, the Experimental Test pilots were enthusiastic about the system performance, with comments such as: “unusually great FLIR image” and “IMAX effect”, together with “great depth of field in night vision mode”, and “it reduces pilot’s workload and fatigue”. Both the binocular visor projected image and the great comfort of the helmet, which was found to be light and well balanced, were well received by the pilots.

APDR at a glance