SCI Technology, Inc. has been the intercommunications system manufacturer since 1993 on the AH-64D and AH-64E models of the Apache helicopter. By creating a clear digital audio system, SCI has significantly increased the pilot’s ability to maintain situational awareness.
Over the years, US Army Aviation has evolved into a fast-paced, multi-role (Attack and Reconnaissance) resource to the ground force commander. The addition of even more communications systems and the lack of an evolved human-to-machine interface convinced SCI to create a true 3-Dimensional (3D) Audio capability with the FireComm® Intercommunications System.
Spatial separation between audio outputs with 3D Audio will revolutionize the way a pilot perceives the world. Much like the “cocktail party effect” experienced by an individual in a crowded room, 3D Audio will allow a pilot to respond to several audio inputs simultaneously. No more loss of situational awareness due to task saturation from multiple radios being received simultaneously. 3D audio provides the distinct capability to hear and discern what is vitally important and what is to be ignored. Most importantly, this technology can be integrated into the Apache ICS.
This capability exists with FireComm® now, with no significant hardware changes, and SCI is pursuing a collaborative effort to upgrade the Apache ICS. Just another example of how SCI Technology is staying on the cutting edge of the current technology, and leading the communications industry for the next generation of Army aircraft.
Jay Thayer is SCI’s Director of Business Development for Aircraft Systems. Read more about his background as an AH-64 pilot here.