Redstone Test Center sharpens battlefield picture
July 18, 2014
By KATIE STARCK
A new technology has put a national spotlight on the Redstone Test Center, making headlines not only in the Tennessee Valley, but as the topic of discussion in the national media circuit.
The Modernized Day Sensor Assembly is under development for use on the AH-64E Apache helicopter, in an effort to provide Apache pilots a clearer, more comprehensive view of the battlefield.
The M-DSA is being tested by RTC and has already demonstrated an increased performance capability over the legacy system. The M-DSA provides color video in the cockpit, improved laser tracking capability and an integrated training laser.
The technology means to allow for advanced targeting capabilities with color images operational in a variety of weather conditions, in daylight or at night. A stark contrast from the legacy system, some have described the improvement as what it would be like to transition from a black and white television set to a new high definition color television set.
The new capability aims to enhance the Army's most modern weapons systems platforms with its increased targeting capability, both inside the RTC's Flight Test Control Center and outside on the range, enabling pilots to see targets with more detail at greater distances.
"Before enabling that system, all I could see was he was handling some large item and a long-stemmed item. When I activated the XR, then I could make out that it was a tripod and he was mounting a block-shaped camera onto the tripod," pilot-in-command Chief Warrant Officer 5 Paul Steele said. XR is the M-DSA's extended range feature that allows the operator to zoom in and freeze on a specific item they need more fidelity on.
Testing of the M-DSA will continue at RTC through the summer and could begin to be installed in the Army's Apache fleet as early as 2017.