Swiss Air Rescue-Rega recently sent two of its AW109SP helicopters to Airborne Technologies (ABT) to be fitted with the necessary mounts to assemble a WESCAM camera system on a moveable lifting device outside the helicopter, as well as an advanced operator workstation inside the cabin.
The Airborne LINX system integration solution is now in service and ABT says that it has already saved lives during demanding SAR operations in high mountain regions.
With the development of an external camera lift mounted on the left hand side of the helicopter, ABT has eliminated one of the recurring problems in airborne surveillance: the impaired downward visibility due to landing gear. Now, Rega's WESCAM MX-15 in its extended position on the lift provides the crew with an unobstructed 360 degree view.
The operator workstation provides real-time information displayed on two 21 inch monitors that support split-screen functions, infrared imagery and moving map information simultaneously. Additionally, these advanced features are controllable via touchscreen, increasing situational awareness.
“Endurance and payload always matter," comments ABT CEO Wolfgang Grumeth. "Most of the components used for the lifting system and the workstation are made of carbon fibre and are therefore lightweight. This helicopter is equipped with the most modern surveillance equipment, tailored to Rega's special operations.”