Week 8/2021

An additional eye for the pilot

Flight Eye camera family
Flight Eye camera family
Aircraft must be 100 percent secure. But how do you actually check whether the rudder is moving when it should be or when ice is forming on the engine during test flights at an altitude of thousands of meters? To monitor things like this, test planes are equipped with dozens of cameras. Kappa optronics, a company based in Lower Saxony, Germany, develops these cameras – and has recently launched a model that can be deployed even more flexibly and provide faster results.

Kappa optronics calls its camera family Flight Eye. The Flight Eye 320 is the latest model. Like its predecessors, the product essentially consists of the camera head, which captures the images, and an electronic unit, which is used to process and transmit the images. The Flight Eye 320 separates these two elements for the first time. This means that the relatively small camera head can now be placed in particularly tight spaces, such as the cockpit.


Benefits for aircraft tests – and beyond

What's more, the new camera boasts a time stamp. This allows users to track to the nearest 1/60th of a second when an event occurred during tests. Did the wing flap actuate at the exact moment the pilot triggered it, or was there a time delay? Such information is essential when testing new aircraft models.

Making tomorrow's flight possible

The camera can also be used for taxiing on the runway, as it transmits videos to the cockpit in real time and is designed for all weather conditions. Another field of application is unmanned [F1] aviation. The Flight Eye 320 is already being used in drones today. And in the not-too-distant future, it could help replace pilots in air taxis. To this end, up to 12 individual camera heads provide an all-round view to ensure safe flights. Kappa optronics and its partners are conducting initial tests on this now.

Kappa optronics has fully developed and certified the Flight Eye 320 for deployment in aviation. In the future, the camera will also benefit smaller and lighter aircraft, which according to EU regulations will need crash recorders from 2022 – thanks to its flexibility, the Flight Eye 320 can record video that shows the course of the flight and the instrument display from the pilot's point of view in one image.

Test the camera: https://www.kappa-optronics.com