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Proceedings Paper

AMLCD cockpit: promise and payoffs
Author(s): Michael P. Snow; Timothy W. Jackson; Frederick M. Meyer; John M. Reising; Darrel G. Hopper
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Paper Abstract

The active matrix liquid crystal display (AMLCD) has become the preferred flight instrument technology in avionics multifunction display applications. Current bubble canopy fighter cockpit applications involve sizes up to 7.8 X 7.8 in. active display. Dual use avionics versions of AMLCD technology are now as large as 6.7 X 6.7 in. active display area in the ARINC D sized color multifunction display (MFD). This is the standard instrument in all new Boeing transport aircraft and is being retrofitted into the C-17A. A special design of the ARINC D instrument is used in the Space Shuttle cockpit upgrade. Larger sizes of AMLCD were desired when decisions were made in the early 1990s for the F-22. Commercial AMLCD technology has now produced monitors at 1280 X 1024 resolution (1.3 megapixels) in sizes of 16 to 21 in. diagonal. Each of these larger AMLCDs has more information carrying capacity than the entire F-22A cockpit instrument panel shipset, comprising six separate smaller AMLCDs (1.2 megapixels total). The larger AMLCDs are being integrated into airborne mission crewstations for use in dim ambient lighting conditions. It is now time to identify and address the technology challenges of upgrading these larger AMLCDs for sunlight readable application and of developing concepts for their integration into advanced bubble canopy fighter cockpits. The overall goals are to significantly increase the informational carrying capacity to bring both sensor and information fusion into the cockpit and, thereby, to enable a significant increase in warfighter situational awareness and effectiveness. A research cockpit was built using specialized versions of the IBM 16.1 in and two smaller 10 in. AMLCDs to examine human factors and display design issues associated with these next-generation AMLCD cockpit displays. This cockpit was later upgraded to allow greater reconfigurability and flexibility in the display hardware used to conduct part- task mission simulations. The objective optical characterization of the AMLCDs used in this simulator and the cockpit design are described. Display formats under consideration for test in this cockpit are described together with some of the basic human factors engineering issues involved. Studies conducted in this cockpit will be part of an ongoing joint effort of the hardware-focused aerospace displays team and the pilot-focused human factors team in the Air Force Research Laboratory's Crew System Interface Division. The objective of these studies is to ascertain the payoffs of the large AMLCD promise in combat cockpits.

Paper Details

Date Published: 16 August 1999
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 3690, Cockpit Displays VI: Displays for Defense Applications, (16 August 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.357587
Show Author Affiliations
Michael P. Snow, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Timothy W. Jackson, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Frederick M. Meyer, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
John M. Reising, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Darrel G. Hopper, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3690:
Cockpit Displays VI: Displays for Defense Applications
Darrel G. Hopper, Editor(s)

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