Case Studies

Degraded Visual Environment (DVE): Uncovering the Invisible

November 23, 2016

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In the commercial market, passenger airlines and cargo companies such as delivery or mail services operate thousands of aircraft every day. Customers rely on these flights to deliver both passengers and goods in a timely fashion. However, landing conditions are not always optimal due to weather conditions or other circumstances. Commercial aircraft might encounter snow storms, sea spray, or foggy degraded visual environments, while military platforms such as rotary wing aircraft in desert landings often experience the effects of rotor wash, making the ground invisible to the pilot. Due to these conditions, aircraft are often rerouted, causing shipment delays and incurring additional costs to the aircraft owners and for military programs, compromised missions.

Using a Degraded Visual Environment (DVE) system enables aircraft pilots to visualize the landing area in poor conditions, allowing them a safe, on time descent to their target destination.

Some Degraded Visual Environment systems exist, and have been custom designed for particular platforms. Custom solutions have long development cycles and often require safety certification efforts costing many millions of dollars. Platform developers are searching for solutions that will save their already constrained budget, while providing them with the advanced technology needed to safely land their aircraft and keep their businesses or missions on track.

Curtiss-Wright was approached by a leading Degraded Visual Environment solution provider with the challenge of reducing their cost and time to market, while at the same time providing a long lifecycle COTS solution.


Our happy customer was not only able to demonstrate their new Degraded Visual Environment solution quicker than they originally estimated, but their end solution carries an extensive lifecycle management strategy to support Diminishing Manufacture and Supply (DMS) requirements well into the future. Their application also now has a clear path to DAL A certification using DO-254 safety certifiable COTS hardware. This important path allows our customer to offer a wide range of Degraded Visual Environment solutions to meet the needs of both military and commercial customers.

Learn more about:

  • Total application-ready hardware solution including hardware, drivers, and BSPs
  • DO-254 safety certifiable SBCs, graphics modules, and I/O modules
  • Products feature the design artifact packages required to support successful certification of the customer’s system

Download the full case study here.

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