On 13 September, the head of the Aerospace Systems Division of ESG Elektroniksystem- und Logistik-GmbH, Oliver Parduhn, handed over the series models of the visAIRion laser safety glasses to those responsible for the project at the Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) for distribution to the first users: the helicopter crews of the Tiger combat helicopter.
visAIRion was developed by ESG on behalf of the BAAINBw to successfully counter the growing threats to flight safety posed by the dazzling of aircrews with “laser pointers” with trend-setting laser safety glasses. More and more, pilots and flight crews are threatened by targeted attacks with laser beams, both in the military and in the civilian sector. This is especially true for helicopter crews, as they often operate at low altitudes and comparatively low speeds. The glare from a laser beam can not only cause organic damage to the eye, but also restrict the pilot’s perception to such an extent that it can lead to life-threatening flight situations. Particularly challenging operations close to the ground, e.g. in low-level flight or during take-off and landing manoeuvres, are affected by this.
visAIRion surpasses all laser safety glasses currently available on the market, which are usually only able to protect against one or two wavelengths and, in addition, only allow strongly colour-distorted vision, which severely restricts use in the cockpit or, under certain circumstances, makes it impossible. In addition, visAIRion is currently the only visor designed for use in poor visibility or twilight and for use with helmets and helmet vision systems such as night vision devices. A decisive factor for the delivery of the laser safety glasses to the Bundeswehr on time and in accordance with the requirements was the close, trusting and cooperative collaboration with the Centre for Aerospace Medicine of the German Air Force (ZentrLuRMedLw), the Technical Service Centre for Aircraft and Aircraft Equipment (WTD61) and the Helicopter Command, Combat Helicopter Tiger Group, right from the start of the project.
Building on this success, the public client initiated the procurement process for laser safety glasses for the crews of other aircraft types, such as the NH-90 helicopter.
At the same time, the ESG team is continuing to develop the optical properties of the laser safety glasses in a targeted manner in order to be able to adapt the protection spectrum as required and thus take account of the changing threat situation and ensure compatibility with other civil and military aircraft.
- broadband protection in several wavelength ranges while at the same time guaranteeing sufficient transmission for external vision in bad weather or night vision conditions
- permanent wearing comfort under the helmet with tight-fitting hearing protection
- individualization or personalization through different frame variants with different frame sizes, temple lengths, shapes and materials (96 variants)
- optional upgrade with corrective lenses for spectacle wearers