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Proceedings Paper

Flight performance using a hyperstereo helmet-mounted display: aircraft handling
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Paper Abstract

A flight study was conducted to assess the impact of hyperstereopsis on helicopter handling proficiency, workload and pilot acceptance. Three pilots with varying levels of night vision goggle and hyperstereo helmet-mounted display experience participated in the test. The pilots carried out a series of flights consisting of low-level maneuvers over a period of two weeks. Four of the test maneuvers, The turn around the tail, the hard surface landing, the hover height estimation and the tree-line following were analysed in detail. At the end of the testing period, no significant difference was observed in the performance data, between maneuvers performed with the TopOwl helmet and maneuvers performed with the standard night vision goggle. This study addressed only the image intensification display aspects of the TopOwl helmet system. The tests did not assess the added benefits of overlaid symbology or head slaved infrared camera imagery. These capabilities need to be taken into account when assessing the overall usefulness of the TopOwl system. Even so, this test showed that pilots can utilize the image intensification imagery displayed on the TopOwl to perform benign night flying tasks to an equivalent level as pilots using ANVIS. The study should be extended to investigate more dynamic and aggressive low level flying, slope landings and ship deck landings. While there may be concerns regarding the effect of hyperstereopsis on piloting, this initial study suggests that pilots can either adapt or compensate for hyperstereo effects with sufficient exposure and training. Further analysis and testing is required to determine the extent of training required.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 May 2009
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 7326, Head- and Helmet-Mounted Displays XIV: Design and Applications, 732604 (1 May 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.819496
Show Author Affiliations
Sion A. Jennings, National Research Council Canada (Canada)
Gregory L. Craig, National Research Council Canada (Canada)
Geoffrey W. Stuart, Defence Science and Technology Organisation (Australia)
Melvyn E. Kalich, U.S. Army Aeromedical Research Lab. (United States)
Clarence E. Rash, U.S. Army Aeromedical Research Lab. (United States)
Thomas H. Harding, U.S. Army Aeromedical Research Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7326:
Head- and Helmet-Mounted Displays XIV: Design and Applications
Peter L. Marasco; Paul R. Havig; Sion A. Jennings; Thomas H. Harding, Editor(s)

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