Nowadays, many critical services, such as Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) and Search and Rescue (SAR), are carried out in very challenging environments, requiring helicopters to often fly in adverse weather conditions and in unfavourable contexts (e.g. mountainous areas, urban environments).
In many cases, helicopters are not supported by any navigation aid, as small airports and landing sites are not equipped with ground based facilities enabling instrument flight.
Pilots mainly fly visually, thus limiting the number of missions that can be completed successfully when visibility is low.
PROuD (PBN Rotorcraft Operations under Demonstration) demonstrates, in a live trial environment, how operations in European scenarios can be improved by the introduction of new procedures using satellite-based GPS technology (and so no needing any ground infrastructures), designed specifically for helicopters in challenging weather conditions or geographical configuration.