A look at an HAI member up close and personal.

Moorpark, Calif.–based Macro-Blue produces tactical displays for law enforcement aerial surveillance. Engineered to optimize output from infrared sensors, EO (electro-optical) cameras, and moving map systems, the displays are designed to deliver clear images in all conditions, including direct sunlight, night, and night-vision goggles (NVG) operations.

Macro-Blue’s latest series of displays, the MB-Q, features an advanced graphics-processor platform intended to bring superior intelligence to passively displayed camera or mapping-system videos. The displays transmit four high-definition (HD) video signals simultaneously, providing users a combination of up to four videos on a single screen. The displays support HD-camera and mapping systems as well as plug-in sensors such as tail-boom, hoist, or skid cameras.

The manufacturer also makes an analog 1:4 composite video distribution amplifier and an SDI (serial digital interface) 3G reclocking 1:4 splitter to support its displays.

MB-Q Series
Macro-Blue’s MB-Q Series tactical displays come in a wide variety of sizes and orientations to fit any aircraft configuration. Options include touchscreen and dual-mode NVIS (night-vision imaging systems) models and remote-mount military-style rotary knob controllers and push-button controllers with rotary brightness knobs.

Individually tested and qualified, each MB-Q display panel is issued a quality assurance certificate that documents each device’s measurements for luminance, contrast, ratio, and NVIS. The power-efficient displays feature reverse battery protection and the ability to precisely control the amount of current to each LED to prolong the life of the LCD panel.

MB-Q displays use a passive cooling system, eliminating the need for fans and thereby reducing the number of moving parts that can collect dust and fail, further boosting reliability.

Designed to Meet or Exceed Military Standards
The secret to Macro-Blue’s success lies in its attention to detail and the company’s responsiveness to customer pain points. The manufacturer starts with the highest-grade industrial panels on the market and improves them by modifying the units to meet or exceed military standards for NVIS, contrast and luminance, and antireflective glass (eliminating the need for sun hoods).

Macro-Blue also addressed a common frustration from users of other systems—screen blackout from video data corruption. The company developed proprietary software that locks onto the video signal and reduces screen blackout, even when a corrupt video signal is sent.

Made with Cramped Quarters in Mind
Macro-Blue developed its DisplayLink technology with the understanding that real estate in a helicopter comes at an extreme premium. DisplayLink is a high-speed, bidirectional data path between a display head and a remote video management unit that allows for relocating multiple video connections away from the actual display to places such as an equipment bay. This feature is ideal for cockpit configurations calling for ultra-thin tactical displays.

Though originally designed for law enforcement applications, Macro-Blue’s displays are also used by government, firefighting, and broadcast news organizations around the world.

Author

  • Jen Boyer is a 20-year journalism and public relations professional in the aviation industry, having worked for flight schools, OEMs, and operators. She holds a rotorcraft commercial instrument license with CFI and CFII ratings. Jen now runs her own public relations and communications firm.

Jen Boyer

Jen Boyer

Jen Boyer is a 20-year journalism and public relations professional in the aviation industry, having worked for flight schools, OEMs, and operators. She holds a rotorcraft commercial instrument license with CFI and CFII ratings. Jen now runs her own public relations and communications firm.

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