Precision guidance system from Sensor Technology optimises heli-spraying and lifting operations

Precision guidance system from Sensor Technology optimises heli-spraying and lifting operations


Sensor Technology Ltd (UK) – A new display screen for HeliNav’s wireless TrackMaster intelligent load sensor for helicopter operations has been launched by manufacturers Sensor Technology Ltd.

TrackMaster constantly weighs a helicopter’s underslung load, even if it varies during operations such as crop spraying, and uses this data stream to calculate flight and operational profiles. It is suitable for use in crop spraying, spreading and lifting operations.

The new HeliNav TrackMaster gives pilots an easy to use and accurate system for line guidance. It also automatically records all data for post-flight downloading so that detailed analysis of the flight and operational performance can be completed for accurate billing, maintenance scheduling etc.

The software comes pre-installed on a 7” rugged tablet computer, and integrates into existing GPS and spray control set-ups for immediate use. The computer is sunlight readable, and conforms to MIL-STD-810F and IP67 standards.

The intuitive software interface provides complete customisation of the display. The client provided maps can be imported into the system to provide the base map for the job.

The system is highly intelligent and so can automatically manage details of the operation. For instance if crop spraying in an irregularly-shaped field with a stream, pond and building that must not be sprayed, the TrackMaster will turn the spray on and off to avoid the non-spray areas and also to avoid spraying beyond the field boundaries. Alternatively if the task involves travelling between a number of set points, say for collecting/depositing loads these can be identified on screen and flight-paths optimised for efficiency.

For ease of use, TrackMaster is based on a 7inch sunlight readable touchscreen and the read out graphics have been designed for maximum clarity. It is compatible with Googlemaps and other mapping services, and with shape handling software. When used for spraying, during flight a live map of the spraying region is displayed, and tracks are coloured as they are sprayed. Tracks are over-layed on the map to indicate the path required to complete the job. A director bar below the map provides the pilot instant feedback if they deviate from the current track.

Once a job has been completed all the operational data can be exported in a number of different formats, including shape files, as a survey or geographic maps. Additional analysis is also instantly available to provide operational performance data such as position data, area covered, total load lifted, spray usage. Reports can also be generated for billing which provide graphical maps as well as statistical data on the job for billing purposes.

TrackMaster interfaces with the Load Sensor from the HeliNav LoadMaster family, which enables tracking of the load and distance carried. This data can also be included on the report. User customisation is also possible, allowing the importation of logos, graphics, data tables, colours, topographical references grids etc. TrackMaster is fully compatible with HeliNav’s LoadMaster and other systems.

For more information about the HeliNav TrackMaster from Sensor Technology Ltd.

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