The Instrument Conditions Awareness Recognition and Understanding System (ICARUS) is a smart view-limiting device that allows instructor pilots to simulate degraded visual environments (DVE) in the aircraft.
ICARUS changes visibility and allows instructor pilots to dial in the visibility for dynamic scenario-based training.
The ICARUS Device was granted fleet-wide airworthiness releases for the UH-60L/M Black Hawk and UH-72 Lakota earlier this year.
It costs $1,250 per device, allowing units to use their own purchase cards and safety funds. The device gives army aviators the most bang for their buck when it comes to training for instrument flight rules (IFR), inadvertent instrument meteorological conditions (IIMC), and weather aeronautical decision making.
“To be able to work with soldiers across the country and globe has been very fulfilling,” said ICARUS inventor Nick Sinopoli. “I often am dealing with incredibly experienced instructors who have thousands of hours and multiple combat deployments. I am usually taking notes and learning when I talk to them. Building a tool that makes them more effective instructors gets me out of bed in the morning.”
Army helicopter crews often experience weather that differs significantly from forecast in remote training sites where they practice things like terrain flight, sling loads and hoist; ICARUS prepares pilots for unexpected weather, unlike the old hoods that have been around since 1929.