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5 August 2002 Emergence of solid state helmet-mounted displays in military applications
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Helmet Mounted Displays (HMDs) are used to provide pilots with out-the-window capabilities for engaging tactical threats. The first modern system to be employed was the Apache Integrated Helmet Display Sighting System (IHADSS). Using an optical tracker and multiple sensors, the pilot is able to navigate and engage the enemy with his weapons systems cued by the HMD in day and night conditions. Over the next several years HMDs were tested on tactical jet aircraft. The tactical fighter environment - high G maneuvering and the possibility of ejection - created several problems regarding integration and head-borne weight. However, these problems were soon solved by American, British, Israeli, and Russian companies and are employed or in the process of employment aboard the respective countries' tactical aircraft. It is noteworthy that the current configuration employs both the Heads-Up Display (HUD) as well as the HMD. The new Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), however, will become the first tactical jet to employ only a HMD. HMDs have increasingly become part of the avionics and weapons systems of new aircraft and helicopter platforms. Their use however, is migrating to other military applications. They are currently under evaluation on Combat Vehicle platforms for driving tasks to target acquisition and designation tasks under near-all weather, 24-hour conditions. Their use also has penetrated the individual application such as providing data and situational awareness to the individual soldier; the U.S. Army's Land Warrior Program is an example of this technology being applied. Current HMD systems are CRT-based and have many short-comings, including weight, reliability. The emergence of new microelectronics and solid state image sources - Flat Panel Displays (FPDs) - however, has expanded the application of vision devices across all facets of military applications. Some of the greatest contributions are derived from the following Enabling Technologies, and it is upon those technologies and their applications to HMDs that this paper will address: · Active Matrix Liquid Crystal Displays; improved response times, compensation films · Sub-micron electronics · Backlight Technology to address brightness issues across the spectrum of operations · Distortion Correction to compensate for optical aberrations in near-real time.
© (2002) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Curtis J. Casey "Emergence of solid state helmet-mounted displays in military applications", Proc. SPIE 4711, Helmet- and Head-Mounted Displays VII, (5 August 2002);


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