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Proceedings Paper

System for synthetic vision and augmented reality in future flight decks
Author(s): Reinhold Behringer; Clement K. Tam; Joshua H. McGee; Venkataraman Sundareswaran; Marius S. Vassiliou
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Paper Abstract

Rockwell Science Center is investigating novel human-computer interface techniques for enhancing the situational awareness in future flight decks. One aspect is to provide intuitive displays which provide the vital information and the spatial awareness by augmenting the real world with an overlay of relevant information registered to the real world. Such Augmented Reality (AR) techniques can be employed during bad weather scenarios to permit flying in Visual Flight Rules (VFR) in conditions which would normally require Instrumental Flight Rules (IFR). These systems could easily be implemented on heads-up displays (HUD). The advantage of AR systems vs. purely synthetic vision (SV) systems is that the pilot can relate the information overlay to real objects in the world, whereas SV systems provide a constant virtual view, where inconsistencies can hardly be detected. The development of components for such a system led to a demonstrator implemented on a PC. A camera grabs video images which are overlaid with registered information, Orientation of the camera is obtained from an inclinometer and a magnetometer, position is acquired from GPS. In a possible implementation in an airplane, the on-board attitude information can be used for obtaining correct registration. If visibility is sufficient, computer vision modules can be used to fine-tune the registration by matching visual clues with database features. Such technology would be especially useful for landing approaches. The current demonstrator provides a frame-rate of 15 fps, using a live video feed as background and an overlay of avionics symbology in the foreground. In addition, terrain rendering from a 1 arc sec. digital elevation model database can be overlaid to provide synthetic vision in case of limited visibility. For true outdoor testing (on ground level), the system has been implemented on a wearable computer.

Paper Details

Date Published: 23 June 2000
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 4023, Enhanced and Synthetic Vision 2000, (23 June 2000); doi: 10.1117/12.389332
Show Author Affiliations
Reinhold Behringer, Rockwell Science Ctr. (United States)
Clement K. Tam, Rockwell Science Ctr. (United States)
Joshua H. McGee, Rockwell Science Ctr. (United States)
Venkataraman Sundareswaran, Rockwell Science Ctr. (United States)
Marius S. Vassiliou, Rockwell Science Ctr. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4023:
Enhanced and Synthetic Vision 2000
Jacques G. Verly, Editor(s)

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