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Proceedings Paper

Investigating the benefits of scene linking for a pathway HMD: from laboratory flight experiments to flight tests
Author(s): Sven Schmerwitz; Helmut Többen; Bernd Lorenz; Tomoko Iijima; Anthea Kuritz-Kaiser
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Paper Abstract

Pathway-in-the-sky displays enable pilots to accurately fly difficult trajectories. However, these displays may drive pilots' attention to the aircraft guidance task at the expense of other tasks particularly when the pathway display is located head-down. A pathway HUD may be a viable solution to overcome this disadvantage. Moreover, the pathway may mitigate the perceptual segregation between the static near domain and the dynamic far domain and hence, may improve attention switching between both sources. In order to more comprehensively overcome the perceptual near-to-far domain disconnect alphanumeric symbols could be attached to the pathway leading to a HUD design concept called 'scene-linking'. Two studies are presented that investigated this concept. The first study used a simplified laboratory flight experiment. Pilots (N=14) flew a curved trajectory through mountainous terrain and had to detect display events (discrete changes in a command speed indicator to be matched with current speed) and outside scene events (hostile SAM station on ground). The speed indicators were presented in superposition to the scenery either in fixed position or scene-linked to the pathway. Outside scene event detection was found improved with scene linking, however, flight-path tracking was markedly deteriorated. In the second study a scene-linked pathway concept was implemented on a monocular retinal scanning HMD and tested in real flights on a Do228 involving 5 test pilots. The flight test mainly focused at usability issues of the display in combination with an optical head tracker. Visual and instrument departure and approach tasks were evaluated comparing HMD navigation with standard instrument or terrestrial navigation. The study revealed limitations of the HMD regarding its see-through capability, field of view, weight and wearing comfort that showed to have a strong influence on pilot acceptance rather than rebutting the approach of the display concept as such.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 May 2006
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 6226, Enhanced and Synthetic Vision 2006, 62260Q (19 May 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.674775
Show Author Affiliations
Sven Schmerwitz, German Aerospace Ctr. (Germany)
Helmut Többen, German Aerospace Ctr. (Germany)
Bernd Lorenz, German Aerospace Ctr. (Germany)
Tomoko Iijima, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (Japan)
Anthea Kuritz-Kaiser, Technical Univ. of Berlin (Germany)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6226:
Enhanced and Synthetic Vision 2006
Jacques G. Verly; Jeff J. Guell, Editor(s)

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