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Proceedings Paper

Effects of image intensifier halo on perceived layout
Author(s): James E. Zacher; Tracey Brandwood; Paul Thomas; Margarita Vinnikov; Gancun Xu; Sion Jennings; Todd Macuda; Stephan A. Palmisano; Greg Craig; Laurie Wilcox; Robert S. Allison
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Paper Abstract

Night vision devices (NVDs) or night-vision goggles (NVGs) based on image intensifiers improve nighttime visibility and extend night operations for military and increasingly civil aviation. However, NVG imagery is not equivalent to daytime vision and impaired depth and motion perception has been noted. One potential cause of impaired perceptions of space and environmental layout is NVG halo, where bright light sources appear to be surrounded by a disc-like halo. In this study we measured the characteristics of NVG halo psychophysically and objectively and then evaluated the influence of halo on perceived environmental layout in a simulation experiment. Halos are generated in the device and are not directly related to the spatial layout of the scene. We found that, when visible, halo image (i.e. angular) size was only weakly dependent on both source intensity and distance although halo intensity did vary with effective source intensity. The size of halo images surrounding lights sources are independent of the source distance and thus do not obey the normal laws of perspective. In simulation experiments we investigated the effect of NVG halo on judgements of observer attitude with respect to the ground during simulated flight. We discuss the results in terms of NVG design and of the ability of human operators to compensate for perceptual distortions.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 May 2007
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 6557, Head- and Helmet-Mounted Displays XII: Design and Applications, 65570U (1 May 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.719892
Show Author Affiliations
James E. Zacher, York Univ. (Canada)
Tracey Brandwood, York Univ. (Canada)
Paul Thomas, Topaz Technologies Inc. (Canada)
Margarita Vinnikov, York Univ. (Canada)
Gancun Xu, York Univ. (Canada)
Sion Jennings, National Research Council Canada (Canada)
Todd Macuda, National Research Council Canada (Canada)
Stephan A. Palmisano, Univ. of Wollongong (Australia)
Greg Craig, National Research Council Canada (Canada)
Laurie Wilcox, York Univ. (Canada)
Robert S. Allison, York Univ. (Canada)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6557:
Head- and Helmet-Mounted Displays XII: Design and Applications
Randall W. Brown; Colin E. Reese; Peter L. Marasco; Thomas H. Harding, Editor(s)

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