Blackhawk Helicopter Simulator to Boost Vertical Lift Researchers

20 September 2019

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Capt. Justin Stewart, a USAARL pilot, gives Master Sgt. Kenneth Carey, USAARL's Chief Medical Laboratory Non-Commissioned Officer, a CAPT-E-VCS tutorial. All image credits: Scott Childress.

The U.S. Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory (USAARL) introduced a Blackhawk helicopter simulator at a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Fort Rucker, Alabama. The Cockpit Academics Procedural Tool – Enhanced Visual Capable System – or, CAPT-E-VCS for short – is a reconfigurable research platform that allows for swift, mission-responsive research in support of the Army's Future Vertical Lift and modernization priority. These priorities are part of the Army's focus on multi-domain operations to counter and defeat near-peer adversaries in all domains.

"USAARL is the Army's aeromedical laboratory focused onthe performance and survival of the rotary wing warfighters to give themdecisive overmatch," said USAARL's Commander, Col. Mark K. McPherson,about the importance of fielding state-of-the art tools in research. "Thishigh-fidelity simulator is the perfect example of how we merge the science ofaviation and medicine to optimize human protection and performance, leveragingscience against our nation's competitors."

The Army views vertical lift dominance over enemy forces as critical to increased lethality, survivability and reach. To meet the demands of Future Vertical Lift priorities, the Army is both developing and acquiring next-generation aircraft and unmanned systems to fly, fight and prevail in any environment. The CAPT-E-VCS was developed in partnership with the U.S. Army Combat Capability Development Command's System Simulation, Software, & Integration Directorate to evaluate new technologies integral to meeting those requirements. The device pairs a Blackhawk medium-lift model helicopter cockpit and academic simulator from SGB Enterprises with a 12-inch projection dome from Q4 Services Inc. State-of-the-art X-IG image generation software – developed by CATI Training Systems – was further added to the CAPT-E-VCS in order to create a singular, customizable research platform for USAARL.

"Now we can evaluate in a digital glass cockpitplatform pilot workload as well as the effects of high altitude flightenvironments," said Dr. Mike Wilson, research psychologist at USAARL."For example, we can couple the laboratory's reduced oxygen breathingdevice with a high-fidelity simulation environment and create a more realistictest environment for research. This innovation is a mission responsive, cost-savingresearch tool that is critical to moving the Army closer to its Future VerticalLift goals."

Source: US Army


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