Lockheed Martin’s Pilotage Distributed Aperture Sensor (PDAS) system took flight for the first time aboard the V-280 Valor, Bell Helicopter’s next-generation tiltrotor aircraft in a series of flights over Fort Worth, Texas, in March.

The firm says that PDAS is a multi-functional sensor system that generates high-resolution, 360-degree imagery around the aircraft to enhance situational awareness for pilots and other users.

For video, have a look here.

“Conducting PDAS flight tests on the V-280 is an exciting first step toward delivering a level of situational awareness unavailable on today’s Army rotorcraft,” said Rita Flaherty, strategy & business development vice president at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control.

“With its embedded, multi-functional sensors, PDAS is the ideal foundation for an integrated survivability suite that will enable Army aircrews to own any environment and universally detect and defeat incoming threats.”

Specifically designed for current and future vertical lift aircraft, PDAS consists of six infrared sensors distributed around the aircraft linked to aircrew helmets and cockpit displays via an open-architecture processor.

During testing, the company claims engineers demonstrated PDAS’s ability to provide simultaneous coverage to multiple independent displays.

“Aircrews benefit from its all-weather pilotage imagery while transported ground troops can survey the environment for tactical information and threats. While PDAS is currently generating imagery for two users, the system will ultimately support up to six users, which could include pilots in other aircraft and mission commanders on the ground.”

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2 years ago

Could you make STOVL aerial tankers, ASW and AWACS platforms out of these?
That would be great for carriers, destroyers and frigates.
Loiter times would be terrific.
A mini AC130-like CAS gunship would be great for ground forces too.

2 years ago
Reply to  RoboJ1M

I guess it would very much depend on how much fuel it can hold as a tanker to make it a viable. No point trying it if it only carries enough fuel for 1 or 2 refills. It could certainly make a very good Helicopter/Osprey replacement thus totally viable for HMS Lizzie, getting commandos etc in and out of locations quickly.