The ASIST (Aircraft Ship Integrated Secure and Traverse) system is a second generation shipborne helicopter handling system developed by Indal Technologies Inc. (ITI). The first generation of the RAST (Recovery Assist, Securing and Traversing) system has established itself as the most successful shipborne helicopter handling system in the world, with more than 150 shipsets delivered or on order to naval forces sailing all the world's oceans. ASIST completed sea trials by July 31, 1992 and production units are in operation with the Chilean Navy. A significant feature of ASIST is the incorporation of a Helicopter Position Sensing Subsystem (HPSS) which is based on an automatic target detection technique developed at ITI. The HPSS will detect a laser beacon equipped helicopter within one second (usually 0.25 second) of it appearing in the field of view of the system cameras. The system then will track the helicopter and provide real time helicopter position relative to the landing area updated every 1/30 second until it is landed. A Rapid Securing Device (RSD) will also be driven by the position data to track the helicopter at low hover. Once the system has detected that the helicopter has landed on the deck, the RSD automatically approaches the helicopter and secures it. This occurs within two seconds. The RSD and traversing system are then used to align the helicopter with the deck tracks and manoeuvre it into a hanger, all without the need for manned intervention.© (1995) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.