“The inability to operate in degraded visual environments is the primary contributing factor to Army aviation mishaps over the past decade,” said Steffanie Easter.

Easter, principal deputy assistant secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology, spoke at the Army Aviation Association of America-sponsored 2016 Army Aviation Mission Solution Summit in Atlanta, April 29 and 30.

Degraded visual environments, or DVE, also degrades Soldiers’ ability to perform the tactics, techniques and procedures needed to support ground forces, she said. “It’s an issue we must solve, and I think technologically we will solve that.”

The DVE Brownout Rotorcraft Enhancement System, or BORES, promises to address some of this, she said. Acquiring it is “vital to the safety of our Army aviators.”

While DVE/BORES primarily addresses brownout conditions caused by sand and dust, other science and technology efforts in infrared sensor development will eventually lead to safer flying in snow, fog, rain and darkness, she said.

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Image courtesy of US Army