Elbit Systems has launched an integrated, physiological monitoring device designed to provide real-time alerts to pilots in life threatening situations during flight.

The technology, called Canary, has been developed using sensors from Israeli start-up LifeBEAM. The system displays a warning on the pilot’s helmet-mounted display (HMD) or aircraft mission computer during extreme situations such as entering hypoxia or loss of consciousness.

Signal indicators allow a pilot to respond before losing conscious, and facilitate recovery of personnel and aircraft by engaging the auto pilot.

The Israeli Ministry of Defense (MoD) has backed the product development, and Canary will be integrated into Elbit Systems’ helmet and HMD equipment.

"We believe that our new system will solve these problems and save pilots’ lives."

Elbit Systems aerospace division general manager Yoram Shmuely said: "Pilots may be exposed to life-threatening medical conditions during flight due to low levels of oxygen (known as hypoxia).

"Modern aircraft may cause G-induced loss of consciousness (GLOC) and other physiological conditions (extreme fatigue, dehydration, etc.), which are a common cause for accidents with no reliable warning or recovery solution available.

"We believe that our new system will solve these problems and save pilots’ lives."

Last week, the company unveiled its BrightNite solution, which is designed to enable utility helicopters to perform degraded visual environment (DVE) missions in more than 90% of night flying situations.

The multi-spectral piloting solution provides the pilot with essential data to facilitate flight in a head-up, eyes-out orientation in pitch dark and other DVE conditions.

The solution incorporates forward-looking infrared (FLIR) and highly sensitive, complementary metal-oxide semiconductor sensors that provide an ultra-wide field image to a display system, which projects to the ANVIS/HUD night HMD.