FEC Heliports launched MIL-Star portable helipad lighting system 41805161

Defence & Security News - FEC Heliports Worldwide
FEC Heliports launched MIL-Star portable helipad lighting system
FEC Heliports Worldwide Ltd has launched its MIL-Star portable helipad lighting system. The LED, portable system has recently achieved CE certification for use in the EU and FCC certification for operation in the US.
FEC Heliports launched MIL-Star portable helipad lighting system
Soldiers marking a landing zone with Cyalume lights for helicopter night training
in Afghanistan (Photo: USAF)

MIL-Star was developed for forward operating forces who need to mark an ad-hoc landing zone, either for tactical airborne or air drop missions. It can be used to designate such zones to helicopters or fixed-wing aircraft and make them visible to distances up to 16 km.

Its structure is ruggedized to withstand the harsh conditions in the field and rotor-wash. For that reason, it has been tested at Sikorsky’s Development Flight Centre in Florida, with the use of a CH-47 helicopter.

MIL-Star is able to support non-overt, covert and FLIR operations. A full system contains eight lights, with each one of them weighing below one kilo. The total weight of the system is 10.6 kg.  In addition to the lights, the cases include the charging devices from plugs at 100-240V AC, vehicle power adapters and solar or wind electricity systems.

The intensity of the lights is adjustable and the supported colours are blue, red, green, white visible LED and infrared or any combination, supporting pilots wearing NVGs. The system can also be set to flash in various modes, such as flash warning, Morse Code or location beacon. Finally, the system is automated to switch on and off in sunset and sunrise respectively.

One of the most important features of MIL-Star is the ability to be wirelessly operated by pilots. Fitted with an 868 MHz (915 MHz in the USA) UHF transceiver, pilots can programme one or some of the lights from a Mobile Lighting Controller transceiver or a tablet/PC, at distances not exceeding 10 km.