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Proceedings Paper

Flight test evaluation of the nondistributed flight reference off-boresight helmet-mounted display symbology
Author(s): J. Chris Jenkins; Andrew J. Thurling; Paul R. Havig; Eric E. Geiselman
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Paper Abstract

The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) has been working to optimize helmet-mounted display (HMD) symbology for off-boresight use. One candidate symbology is called the non-distributed flight reference (NDFR). NDFR symbology allows ownship status information to be directly referenced from the HMD regardless of pilot line of sight. The symbology is designed to aid pilot maintenance of aircraft state awareness during the performance of off-boresight tasks such as air-to-ground and air-to-air target acquisition. Previous HMD symbology research has shown that pilots spend longer periods of time off-boresight when using an HMD and therefore less time referencing primary displays in the aircraft cockpit. NDFR may provide needed information for the pilot to safely spend longer periods of search time off-boresight. Recently, NDFR was flight tested by the USAF Test Pilot School at Edwards AFB, CA, aboard the VISTA F-16 (Variable Stability In-flight Simulator Test Aircraft) during operationally representative air-to-air and air-to-ground tasks, as well as unusual attitude recoveries. The Mil-Std-1787B head-up display (HUD) symbology and another off-boresight HMD symbology called the Visually Coupled Acquisition and Targeting System (VCATS) were evaluated as comparison symbol sets. The results of the flight test indicate a clear performance advantage afforded by the use of off-boresight symbology compared to HUD use alone. There was a significant increase in the amount of time pilots looked off-boresight with both the NDFR and VCATS symbologies. With the NDFR, this increase was achieved without an associated primary task performance tradeoff. This was true for both air-to-ground and air-to-air tasks.

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 August 2002
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 4711, Helmet- and Head-Mounted Displays VII, (5 August 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.478885
Show Author Affiliations
J. Chris Jenkins, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Andrew J. Thurling, U.S. Air Force (United States)
Paul R. Havig, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Eric E. Geiselman, Geiselman Consulting and Air Force Research Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4711:
Helmet- and Head-Mounted Displays VII
Clarence E. Rash; Colin E. Reese, Editor(s)

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