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Proceedings Paper

Augmented reality technology for day/night situational awareness for the dismounted Soldier
Author(s): Eric Gans; David Roberts; Matthew Bennett; Herman Towles; Alberico Menozzi; James Cook; Todd Sherrill
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Paper Abstract

This paper describes Applied Research Associates’ (ARA) recent advances in Soldier augmented reality (AR) technology. Our AR technology, called ARC4, delivers heads-up situational awareness to the dismounted warfighter, enabling non-line-of-sight team coordination in distributed operations. ARC4 combines compact head tracking sensors with advanced pose estimation algorithms, network management software, and an intuitive AR visualization interface to overlay tactical iconic information accurately on the user’s real-world view. The technology supports heads-up navigation, blue-force tracking, target handoff, image sharing, and tagging of features in the environment. It integrates seamlessly with established network protocols (e.g., Cursor-on-Target) and Command and Control software tools (e.g., Nett Warrior, Android Tactical Assault Kit) and interfaces with a wide range of daytime see-through displays and night vision goggles to deliver real-time actionable intelligence, day or night. We describe our pose estimation framework, which fuses inertial data, magnetometer data, GPS, DTED, and digital imagery to provide measurements of the operator’s precise orientation. These measurements leverage mountainous terrain horizon geometry, known landmarks, and sun position, enabling ARC4 to achieve significant improvements in accuracy compared to conventional INS/GPS solutions of similar size, weight, and power. We detail current research and development efforts toward helmet-based and handheld AR systems for operational use cases and describe extensions to immersive training applications.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 May 2015
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 9470, Display Technologies and Applications for Defense, Security, and Avionics IX; and Head- and Helmet-Mounted Displays XX, 947004 (21 May 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2177086
Show Author Affiliations
Eric Gans, Applied Research Associates, Inc. (United States)
David Roberts, Applied Research Associates, Inc. (United States)
Matthew Bennett, Applied Research Associates, Inc. (United States)
Herman Towles, Applied Research Associates, Inc. (United States)
Alberico Menozzi, Applied Research Associates, Inc. (United States)
James Cook, Applied Research Associates, Inc. (United States)
Todd Sherrill, Applied Research Associates, Inc. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9470:
Display Technologies and Applications for Defense, Security, and Avionics IX; and Head- and Helmet-Mounted Displays XX
Daniel D. Desjardins; Kalluri R. Sarma; Peter L. Marasco; Paul R. Havig, Editor(s)

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