19 June 2014 Visual-conformal display format for helicopter guidance
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Abstract
Helicopter guidance in situations where natural vision is reduced is still a challenging task. Beside new available sensors, which are able to “see” through darkness, fog and dust, display technology remains one of the key issues of pilot assistance systems. As long as we have pilots within aircraft cockpits, we have to keep them informed about the outside situation. “Situational awareness” of humans is mainly powered by their visual channel. Therefore, display systems which are able to cross-fade seamless from natural vision to artificial computer vision and vice versa, are of greatest interest within this context. Helmet-mounted displays (HMD) have this property when they apply a head-tracker for measuring the pilot’s head orientation relative to the aircraft reference frame. Together with the aircraft’s position and orientation relative to the world’s reference frame, the on-board graphics computer can generate images which are perfectly aligned with the outside world. We call image elements which match the outside world, “visual-conformal”. Published display formats for helicopter guidance in degraded visual environment apply mostly 2D-symbologies which stay far behind from what is possible. We propose a perspective 3D-symbology for a head-tracked HMD which shows as much as possible visual-conformal elements. We implemented and tested our proposal within our fixed based cockpit simulator as well as in our flying helicopter simulator (FHS). Recently conducted simulation trials with experienced helicopter pilots give some first evaluation results of our proposal.
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H.-U. Doehler, Sven Schmerwitz, Thomas Lueken, "Visual-conformal display format for helicopter guidance", Proc. SPIE 9087, Degraded Visual Environments: Enhanced, Synthetic, and External Vision Solutions 2014, 90870J (19 June 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2052677; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2052677
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