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Proceedings Paper

Subjective results of a simulator evaluation using synthetic terrain imagery presented on a helmet-mounted display
Author(s): Christopher R. Rate; Andrew Probert; David Wright; William H. Corwin; Rick Royer
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Paper Abstract

Combat mission scenarios require pilots to maneuver their aircraft over and around various terrain features at high speeds and low altitudes day, night, or in adverse meteorological conditions. While current systems (e.g., Night Vision Goggles and FLIR) provide some support for the pilot, they are not adequate in many weather conditions. However, the effects of adverse weather can be overcome using the U. S. Defense Mapping Agency's digital terrain elevation database to create a synthetic terrain image (STI). The concept of synthetically derived terrain imagery, projected as background on a Helmet-Mounted Display, was investigated in regards to its utility for enhancing pilot terrain awareness. An initial study using four Lockheed pilots and six USAF pilots was conducted to determine subjective preference of STI formats. A follow-on study, using two preferred formats, evaluated STI in a full-mission simulation environment. Six F-16 pilots completed a half day of training and a one day evaluation. Data was collected on missions involving low level navigation, followed by a laser guided bomb loft or offset roll- in dive bomb attack. Thirteen missions per pilot were completed including bomb runs using LANTIRN without STI. All the runs were at night with either 'poor' or 'good' FLIR conditions over rough or moderately rolling terrain. The evaluation indicated that pilots found STI to be useful and offered real-time support for low level navigation. Some problems still exist (e.g., field of view of HMD), which will be investigated in future studies.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 June 1994
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 2218, Helmet- and Head-Mounted Displays and Symbology Design Requirements, (10 June 1994); doi: 10.1117/12.177374
Show Author Affiliations
Christopher R. Rate, Air Force Wright Lab. (United States)
Andrew Probert, Air Force Wright Lab. (United States)
David Wright, Air Force Wright Lab. (United States)
William H. Corwin, Honeywell, Inc. (United States)
Rick Royer, Lockheed Corp. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2218:
Helmet- and Head-Mounted Displays and Symbology Design Requirements
Ronald J. Lewandowski; Wendell Stephens; Loran A. Haworth, Editor(s)

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