21 May 2015 Development of a helmet/helmet-display-unit alignment tool (HAT) for the Apache helmet and display unit
Author Affiliations +
Project Manager (PM) Apache Block III contacted the U.S. Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory (USAARL), Fort Rucker, Alabama, requesting assistance to evaluate and find solutions to a government-developed Helmet Display Unit (HDU) device called the Mock HDU for helmet alignment of the Apache Advanced Integrated Helmet (AAIH). The AAIH is a modified Head Gear Unit No. 56 for Personnel (HGU-56/P) to replace the current Integrated Helmet and Sighting System (IHADSS). The current flashlight-based HDU simulator for helmet/HDU alignment was no longer in production or available. Proper helmet/HDU alignment is critical to position the right eye in the small HDU eye box to obtain image alignment and full field of view (FOV). The initial approach of the PM to developing a helmet/HDU fitting device (Mock HDU) was to duplicate the optical characteristics of the current tactical HDU using less complex optics. However, the results produced questionable alignment, FOV, and distortion issues, with cost and development time overruns. After evaluating the Mock HDU, USAARL proposed a cost effective, less complex optical design called the Helmet/HDU Alignment Tool (HAT). This paper will show the development, components, and evaluations of the HAT compared to the current flashlight HDU simulator device. The laboratory evaluations included FOV measurements and alignment accuracies compared to tactical HDUs. The Apache helmet fitter technicians and Apache pilots compared the HAT to the current flashlight based HDU and ranked the HAT superior.
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William McLean, William McLean, Jonathan Statz, Jonathan Statz, Victor Estes, Victor Estes, Shawn Booms, Shawn Booms, John S. Martin, John S. Martin, Thomas Harding, Thomas Harding, "Development of a helmet/helmet-display-unit alignment tool (HAT) for the Apache helmet and display unit", Proc. SPIE 9470, Display Technologies and Applications for Defense, Security, and Avionics IX; and Head- and Helmet-Mounted Displays XX, 947013 (21 May 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2176411; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2176411

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