“See” Through the Fog and Rain – Vu Systems Launches Vu Cube

Image by Vu Systems.

Vu Systems announced this week that it’s passive millimeter-wave (PMMW) sensor, the Vu Cube, has completed the developmental phase with all flight testing required to validate being finished. The sensor allows much further visibility use over traditional infrared sensors; in many cases up to two, three miles.

The testing phase consisted of a 150 approaches over 50 flights in a variety of low visibility situations: rain, fog and low cloud ceilings. A unpressurized King Air (Queen Air) was the test aircraft with the sensor mounted to the nose. The testing variants was done to perfect the system for business jets and large air transport craft.

“Our sensor operates at a wavelength up to one thousand times longer than that of today’s most advanced sensors, and this allows Vu Cube to see through clouds and fog when traditional sensors cannot,” said Vu Systems CEO Stedman Stevens.

Test pilots could see the runway with Vu Cube-provided imagery, even when a dense fog completely obscured the runway to the infrared sensor. The Vu Cube will be ideal for landing at alternate airports when poor weather nixes original destinations. Stevens noted weather delays/disruptions cost the U.S. air industry over $9.2 billion a year.

“Now that we are confident that we have a mature product, we are freezing the design and are working toward certification of the final product,” said Vu Systems chief science officer Larry Yujiri.

The company is working with aircraft/avionic manufacturers and airlines to develop installation solutions of the Vu Cube. Avionics manufacturer Saab is working closely with Vu Systems to incorporate the Vu Cube in an enhanced flight vision system and demonstration flights with several airlines are planned.

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