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Proceedings Paper

Real-time synthetic vision cockpit display for general aviation
Author(s): Andrew J. Hansen; W. Garth Smith; Richard M. Rybacki
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Paper Abstract

Low cost, high performance graphics solutions based on PC hardware platforms are now capable of rendering synthetic vision of a pilot's out-the-window view during all phases of flight. When coupled to a GPS navigation payload the virtual image can be fully correlated to the physical world. In particular, differential GPS services such as the Wide Area Augmentation System WAAS will provide all aviation users with highly accurate 3D navigation. As well, short baseline GPS attitude systems are becoming a viable and inexpensive solution. A glass cockpit display rendering geographically specific imagery draped terrain in real-time can be coupled with high accuracy (7m 95% positioning, sub degree pointing), high integrity (99.99999% position error bound) differential GPS navigation/attitude solutions to provide both situational awareness and 3D guidance to (auto) pilots throughout en route, terminal area, and precision approach phases of flight. This paper describes the technical issues addressed when coupling GPS and glass cockpit displays including the navigation/display interface, real-time 60 Hz rendering of terrain with multiple levels of detail under demand paging, and construction of verified terrain databases draped with geographically specific satellite imagery. Further, on-board recordings of the navigation solution and the cockpit display provide a replay facility for post-flight simulation based on live landings as well as synchronized multiple display channels with different views from the same flight. PC-based solutions which integrate GPS navigation and attitude determination with 3D visualization provide the aviation community, and general aviation in particular, with low cost high performance guidance and situational awareness in all phases of flight.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 July 1999
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 3691, Enhanced and Synthetic Vision 1999, (19 July 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.354434
Show Author Affiliations
Andrew J. Hansen, MetaVR, Inc. (United States)
W. Garth Smith, MetaVR, Inc. (United States)
Richard M. Rybacki, MetaVR, Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3691:
Enhanced and Synthetic Vision 1999
Jacques G. Verly, Editor(s)

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