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Optical Engineering • Open Access

Daylight luminance requirements for full-color, see-through, helmet-mounted display systems

Paper Abstract

When color is implemented in helmet-mounted displays (HMDs) that are eyes-out, see-through displays, visual perception issues become an increased concern. A major confound with HMDs is their inherent see-through (transparent) property. The result is color in the displayed image that combines with color from the outside (or in-cockpit) world, producing an image with additive color. As luminance of the HMD imagery is reduced, the color separation between the HMD imagery and the background is also reduced. It is because of this additive effect that luminance contrast is so vitally important in developing HMD standards for color symbology. As a result, this paper identifies luminance requirements for full-color HMDs based upon two lines of investigation. The first is based on a study of white symbology against natural static backgrounds, where the quality of symbology was judged to be a function of not only the background luminance but also of the background complexity as well. The second is based on an evaluation of the complexity inherent in natural backgrounds and from this investigation, a predictive curve was found that describes the complexity of natural backgrounds as a function of ambient luminance.

Paper Details

Date Published: 31 January 2017
PDF: 10 pages
Opt. Eng. 56(5) 051404 doi: 10.1117/1.OE.56.5.051404
Published in: Optical Engineering Volume 56, Issue 5
Show Author Affiliations
Thomas H. Harding, U.S. Army Aeromedical Research Lab. (United States)
Clarence E. Rash, U.S. Army Aeromedical Research Lab. (United States)
Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (United States)


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