Proceedings PaperImproved full-color F-16A/B and F-16C/D multifunction display using a ruggedized COTS active matrix color liquid crystal display
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The Improved F-16 Display Unit (DU) is the first use of a ruggedized COTS LCD in a high performance fighter application and is the first color LCD to fly in an F-16 aircraft. The Display Unit (DU) is one of two LRUs that make up the Improved Radar Electro-Optical (REO) Display Set. The second LRU is called the Electronics Unit (EU). The Improved REO Display Set flew for the first time in August of 1994 and will continue flight testing through 1995. In addition to the improved R&M features of the design, the new system provides the capability for increased performance and growth through an open systems modular architecture. This will be demonstrated during testing this year in which the improved REO Display Set will be a key component in the Air Force Reserves Integrated Electronic Combat Feasibility Assessment Project for the F-16C aircraft, by providing a consolidated color situation awareness display. The current EC LRUs are not integrated, and each EC element has its own controls and displays which are dispersed throughout the cockpit. This puts a significant burden on the pilot and limits his ability to react to various threats. The Improved REO Display Set distributed processing capabilities and color displays allow the EC horizontal situation awareness formats to be generated and consolidated on one of the REO system color LCDs through bezel switch selection of available displays. This paper presents the latest performance characteristics of the Improved Display Unit, testing results, and the design trade-offs that lead to the use of a ruggedized COTS LCD rather than a custom military LCD. Following flight testing and pilot evaluation, a decision will be made to proceed with production refinement of the ruggedized design or to transition to a custom LCD designed specifically for military use.