6-Jul-2016 Source: CarteNav
Completion of a recent software upgrade for Heliwest has led to increased capability allowing the Aviation Services company to fulfill a broader portfolio of missions in Western Australia.
Heliwest, one of CarteNav’s earliest customers, saw huge value in keeping their AIMS-HD software updated, and has recently upgraded to version 7.2. This latest version incorporates additional capabilities that Heliwest has wasted no time in exploiting.
Luke Aspinall, Manager of Special Operations for the Heliwest Group expanded on the benefits of being able to use the same system for a diverse set of missions “We use the same AIMS-HD software no matter what the platform or mission – Search and Rescue, fire monitoring, Airborne Law Enforcement, and oil spill monitoring. It allows us to make huge efficiencies across our fleet and mission tasking”.
Heliwest uses a mixed fleet of helicopters, including the Bolkow 105, AS350 Squirrel, and Bell 206.
Mr. Aspinall continued “The software was so easy to use, we were able to train firefighters with no previous experience of the system to quickly become proficient and effective in the air”.
The aircraft were operational with the new software straight away, and achieved over 150 flight hours in the first fire season, responding to between one and six incidents per day, with each lasting between three to nine hours. One officer controlled the camera, moving map, and the downlinks, while the mission commander relayed mission information gained from the software to a team on the ground.
The operators were trained to handle anything up to three concurrent incidents, ranging in size from small-scale fires up to large scale disasters needing a ground-based controller.
The versatility of CarteNav’s software meant it has been invaluable for other missions too, such as infrastructure monitoring and inspection. “We used AIMS-HD for a fibre-optic link corridor survey. A task that would have taken months by other means took us 3-4 days flying low and slow over a 780km stretch. The software was able to accurately log position and capture geo-referenced sites for the whole link” added Mr. Aspinall.
More recently, the software upgrade has provided features such as in-video street overlays and a comprehensive street address lookup database, ideal for Airborne Law Enforcement missions.
“We have recently upgraded from version 6.8 to version 7.2 and we use this version very effectively in the Airborne Law Enforcement role.” said Mr. Aspinall.
The flexibility of the software means that an operator can be effective across multiple mission types in a variety of scenarios, providing huge benefits to both the operator and the fleet.
“One of the other benefits of working with CarteNav is their responsiveness” continued Mr. Aspinall. “The company responded very quickly to our needs and provided great training, which allowed us to quickly become operational.”