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Proceedings Paper

Human factors requirements of helmet trackers for HMDs
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Paper Abstract

A helmet tracker is a critical element in the path that delivers targeting and other sensor data to the user of a helmet-mounted display (HMD) in a military aircraft. The original purpose of an HMD was to serve as a helmet-mounted sight and provide a means to fully utilize the capabilities of off-boresight munitions. Recently, the role of the HMD has evolved from being strictly a targeting tool to providing detailed flight path and situation awareness information. These changes, however, have placed even greater value on the visual information that is transferred through the helmet tracker to the HMD. Specifically, the timeliness and accuracy of the information, which is of critical importance when the HMD is used as a targeting aid, is of even greater importance when the HMD is used to display flight reference information. This is especially relevant since it has been proposed to build new military aircraft without a physical head-up display (HUD) and display HUD information virtually with an HMD. In this paper, we review the current state of helmet tracker technology with respect to use in military aviation. We also identify the parameters of helmet trackers that offer the greatest risk when using an HMD to provide information beyond targeting data to the user. Finally, we discuss the human factors limitations of helmet tracker systems for delivering both targeting and flight reference information to a military pilot.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 September 2003
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 5079, Helmet- and Head-Mounted Displays VIII: Technologies and Applications, (8 September 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.486941
Show Author Affiliations
Gary L. Martinsen, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Paul R. Havig, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
David L. Post, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
George A. Reis, Northrop Grumman Corp. (United States)
Matthew A. Simpson, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5079:
Helmet- and Head-Mounted Displays VIII: Technologies and Applications
Clarence E. Rash; Colin E. Reese, Editor(s)

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