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28 August 2001 All-weather capability for rescue helicopters
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In Germany as well as in numerous other countries the air rescue system has been extended significantly since the first operation of the rescue helicopter Christoph 1. The primary target of the air rescue system was to guarantee fast and efficient emergency medical services for victims of accidents. During the years, the scope of the helicopter operations has been extended not only to other types of emergency medical services, but also to secondary medical services like the displacement of patients from hospitals to special service hospitals. While in general the displacement of patients is operated from well known and registered helipads, the primary rescue service currently has to rely on available onboard systems only. Those operations are risky and challenging for the pilots because of time pressure and the danger of obstacles in the environment of the helicopter. In addition, reduced visibility due to fog, rainfall or low light levels can further increase the risks or can make the services unavailable at all. Almost one decade ago, Eurocopter started the investigation of technologies and systems that could help the pilots to perform their tasks with reduced workload and risk, and to allow for a 24 h operation of helicopters irrespective of the weather conditions. After a number of preliminary studies, in 1995 the research program 'All-weather helicopter' has been started as a joint effort of Eurocopter and the supplier industry in Europe. The first phase of the program has been successfully completed in 1999 and the second phase is currently in progress.
© (2001) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Wolfgang Kreitmair-Steck and Stefan Haisch "All-weather capability for rescue helicopters", Proc. SPIE 4363, Enhanced and Synthetic Vision 2001, (28 August 2001);


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