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93rd Edition, June 2002

Complete Document

Lighting, Aircraft Exterior, Night Vision Imaging System (NVIS) Compatible

Includes all amendments and changes through Reaffirmation Notice , May 2016

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Product Details:

  • Revision: 93rd Edition, June 2002
  • Published Date: May 2016
  • Status: Active, Most Current
  • Document Language: English
  • Published By: SAE International (SAE)
  • Page Count: 8
  • ANSI Approved: No
  • DoD Adopted: No

Description / Abstract:

This SAE Aerospace Recommended Practice (ARP) describes the recommended performance levels for equipment located on the aircraft exterior which produces radiant energy which will provide desired information when viewed with NVIS goggles.

These performance intensities, normally stated in candelas for visible light, are modified to consider the goggle spectral response range. Where necessary, location of the equipment on the airplane is specified.

The spectral emission characteristics may or may not include visible light. Whether or not visible energy is emitted, this document will refer to these items of equipment as "lights".

Categories of Lights:

The two types of lights defined in this document are classified as Category I or Category II depending on the function of the light.

For the specific intensities for all lights, it may be necessary to include both minimum and maximum energy requirements. This is because NVIS goggles are equipped with an automatic gain control which limits the amount of total brightness gain. This occurs when excess energy primarily in the 600 to 900 nm range is incident to the goggles and results in the loss of goggle resolution to the point where they do not serve their intended function.

Category I: Category I lights are classified as lights or energy sources which are viewed with NVIS goggles to provide the desired information. This is referred to as a signalling function.

These include formation-keeping, anticollision, and rendezvous light functions.

Category II: Category II lights include floodlights, fuel probe inspection, refueling, landing, and searchlight functions. These lights will usually produce no visible light but will emit energy in a range greater than 780 nm. The reduction or elimination of energy less than 780 nm is usually required to maintain covertness.

Product Classification

Controllable Searchlight: A spotlight or floodlight used primarily in helicopter application for illumination of ground terrain or objects in both hover and low speed ground inspection maneuvers. This light is usually controllable both in elevation and azimuth.

Landing Light: A narrow beam light used during takeoff and landing to illuminate the surface of the runway or landing area. Landing lights may either be fixed or retractable.

Hover Lights: A floodlight which is installed in the bottom surface of the aircraft with hovering capabilities (primarily helicopters). The light or lights are used to floodlight the area beneath the aircraft from low altitude.

Formation Lights: Lights installed on the fuselage, vertical stabilizer, and wing tips to provide information to the pilots of other aircraft required for formation-keeping. Electroluminescent strips are commonly used in this application. Since these lights are viewed from relatively short ranges, surface luminance is as important as radiant intensity.

Refueling Probe Light: A floodlight which is installed in the forward portion of the aircraft near the fuel probe on a receiver aircraft of a probe/drogue type refueling system (Reference ARP694). This will provide sufficient intensity to illuminate the probe tip and the immediate area so the receiver pilot can determine the position of the probe and drogue.

Rendezvous Lights: A light which provides recognition of an aircraft's location at some distance from the NVIS user. Typically, in an NVIS mode a rendezvous maneuver is performed without radio contact and the primary concern is to provide a recognizable signal while maintaining covertness. Flashing or pulsating signals are common for this application which increases the ease of detection.

Anticollision Lights: Lights which are installed on aircraft for the purpose of providing recognition of an aircraft's location at some distance from the NVIS user. They typically are designed to maintain covertness while providing useful energy in the NVIS response range. Flashing or pulsating signals are common for this application which increases the ease of detection.
AIA/NAS Aerospace Standards