Spotlight Labs has launched its SPYDR hypoxia sensor device, a fully developed helmet insert that can be deployed to prevent loss of life and improve pilot performance and training.
Developed by a team of former fighter pilots and engineers at Spotlight Labs, the device gathers human biometric and aircraft condition data, as well as detects and alerts pilots of their imminent incapacitation.
SPYDR also records flight data to enable post-flight analysis and improve flight outcomes.
It was designed to address concern related to hypoxia-related crashes and fatalities.
After the US Air Force grounded its T-6 training fleet last February, Spotlight Labs executed destructive testing, electromagnetic interference testing and acoustic testing on the SPYDR.
During the testing phase, the company conducted physical demonstrations in an altitude chamber, a centrifuge and a ground-based restricted oxygen breathing device.
Prior to the commercial launch, the company met military specifications and secured flight approval in USAF aircraft.
Spotlight Labs incorporated the SPYDR hypoxia sensor device into more than 100 training flights in T-6 aircraft at two Air Force bases as part of the demonstration of its capabilities.
Spotlight Labs biometrics lead engineer Dr Brian Bradke said: “The SPYDR instruments the operator, giving individual pilots tools for safety and performance in flight, while collecting valuable data that will fuel improved performance and increased risk mitigation for the pilot community as a whole.
“This device is an immediately available, fairly priced solution to an extremely expensive problem that has long plagued our military.”
The SPYDR device will replace the existing earcups in an aviation helmet worn by pilots. It features three sensors and a bone conducting transducer that is designed to collect data at relevant physiological points located on the neck and head.
The device also quantifies real-time degradation of pilots and warns them of their condition.
The device’s ability to measure aircraft parameters allows the pilot and the maintenance crew to draw correlations between times of degradation and improvement, as well as between physiological events to specific aircraft parameters.
The military command structure can use the aggregate data to reduce risk and improve performance for future tactical flight.