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Proceedings Paper

Effects of saturation contrast on color recognition in night vision goggles
Author(s): Paul R. Havig; Peter L. Marasco; David L. Post; Harold L. Ellwanger; George A. Reis
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Paper Abstract

In the past we have examined the luminance contrast ratios required to maintain color recognition in helmet-mounted displays (HMDs). Using typical daytime viewing conditions as simulated backgrounds we were able to determine 95% correct color recognition thresholds resulting in luminance contrast ratios averaging 1.17:1. Last year we adapted this research to determine the best colors to maintain color recognition of symbology that is on a night vision goggle (NVG) image. We simulated NVG P43 green phosphor and determined 95% correct color recognition thresholds. Results indicated that, on average, a luminance contrast ratio of nearly 1.5:1 was required to maintain color recognition. Review of the studies indicated that our simulated P43 phosphor was a much more saturated background, so saturation contrast may play as important a role as luminance contrast. A P45 white phosphor NVG may therefore be less problematic. Here we investigate the effects of both luminance and saturation contrast by manipulating color mixtures of green, yellow, and red symbology against two different backgrounds, P43 green and P45 white. We discuss our results in terms of both luminance and saturation contrast required for the maintenance of color recognition in NVGs.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 September 2004
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 5442, Helmet- and Head-Mounted Displays IX: Technologies and Applications, (8 September 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.540420
Show Author Affiliations
Paul R. Havig, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Peter L. Marasco, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
David L. Post, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Harold L. Ellwanger, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
George A. Reis, Northrop Grumman Information Technology (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5442:
Helmet- and Head-Mounted Displays IX: Technologies and Applications
Clarence E. Rash; Colin E. Reese, Editor(s)

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