Boeing proposed an advanced vision system for their new tanker.
It does not work, so they are looking for government money to add a laser ranger-finder to their refueling boom:
Boeing is researching adding a laser-range finder to the KC-46A Pegasus’ problem-plagued refuelling boom camera system.
The laser-range-finder retrofit onto the boom cameras, known as the remote vision system (RVS), would give operators additional information about the true distance between the end of the KC-46A’s boom and a receiving aircraft’s receptacle during in-flight refuelling, says Will Roper, assistant secretary of the US Air Force (USAF) for acquisition, technology and logistics at the Reagan National Defense Forum on 7 December.
The KC-46A in-flight refuelling tanker’s original RVS cameras had two problems: a distorted three-dimensional video feed which makes it difficult for operators to perceive distances; and a problem automatically adjusting to changing lighting conditions, which causes the screen to washout in certain scenarios.
“There is… a rubber sheet effect where some parts get stretched, some parts get compressed, so that the reality that the operator sees on the screen is not the same as the one outside the plane,” says Roper.
“The remote visual system — I am going to worry about it each day until we have a validated design,” he says. “One thing I am very happy about, we’ve got some of the best visual experts at the Air Force Research Lab and they are creating a model, a simulator of the RVS, [that] we can work through design iterations with Boeing, ahead of them putting engineering investment time on them.”
In older tankers, the boom operator sits at the rear of the plane, and direct it into position, but this time around they decided to use a sophisticated camera system, because ……… SCIENCE.
Pentagon’s predilection for incorporating unproven technology in front line systems seems to serve no purpose beyond increasing contractor profits.
So, Boeing screws up, and we all pay for it.
Boeing really cannot make anything anymore, can they?