23 July 1999 Development of miniature head-mounted virtual image displays for Navy divers
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Abstract
Much of navy diving is conducted in regions where the visibility is extremely limited, such as the very shallow water/surf zone region. Special sensor, imaging, navigation, and communication technologies are required to enhance a diver's ability to 'see', navigate, and communicate in these regions. These include hand-held sonars, GPS units, acoustic navigation systems, and low-light-level cameras. A visual interface technology is required for the diver to interpret and make use of this enhanced information, which often is a combination of video images, graphical displays, and alphanumeric data. One such technology is a simple underwater display screen. Unfortunately, in many cases underwater display screens can not be seen at all due to the extremely adverse conditions, rendering an enhanced diver sensor systems useless. It remains a considerable technical challenge to provide a diver display system that can be clearly viewed underwater in regions with extremely poor visibility and lighting. The US Navy's Coastal Systems Station, Panama City, Florida has been developing diver display systems, specifically virtual image-head-mounted display (HMDs) systems, for navy divers since 1992. These systems incorporate state-of-the-industry microdisplay technology. This paper will discuss the development of these systems, current status of the technology, and the future outlook for the navy's diver HMDs.
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Dennis G. Gallagher, "Development of miniature head-mounted virtual image displays for Navy divers", Proc. SPIE 3711, Information Systems for Navy Divers and Autonomous Underwater Vehicles Operating in Very Shallow Water and Surf Zone Regions, (23 July 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.354660; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.354660
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