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Proceedings Paper

Handling qualities comparison of panoramic night vision goggles and 46-deg. night vision goggles
Author(s): Gregory Craig; Sion Jennings; David Thorndycraft
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Paper Abstract

Night Vision Goggles allow the user to see in extremely low illumination levels but the visual information provided by Night Vision Goggles has a limited field-of-view that diminishes handling-qualities in the night flying environment. Panoramic Night Vision Goggles were designed to correct this problem by providing a 100° horizontal field-of-view which is larger than currently used Night Vision Goggles. However, in the first generation Panoramic Night Vision Goggle, the improved field of view came at the cost of diminished resolution, contrast and central overlap area when compared to conventional Night Vision Goggles. This paper describes an evaluation that was conducted in the variable stability NRC Bell-205 helicopter to examine the influence on system handling qualities of the Panoramic Night Vision Goggles and a 46° field-of-view UK Night Vision Goggle. Five pilots flew the ADS-33D hover, sidestep and pirouette manoeuvres in simulated night conditions with the UK Night Vision Goggle and the Panoramic Night Vision Goggle. Both subjective and objective measures of task performance were obtained. Handling-qualities ratings showed the pirouette was performed better with the Panoramic Night Vision Goggles. This was the only manoeuvre where there was a clear-cut handling qualities improvement when using the Panoramic Night Vision Goggles. Other manoeuvres such as the sidestep and hover did not show definitive handling qualities rating differences between the two Night Vision Goggle types. The flight test results were interpreted in terms of the design trade-offs of the two night vision systems, with regard to the different acuity, binocular overlaps and fields-of-view.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 September 2003
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 5079, Helmet- and Head-Mounted Displays VIII: Technologies and Applications, (8 September 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.487028
Show Author Affiliations
Gregory Craig, National Research Council Canada (Canada)
Sion Jennings, National Research Council Canada (Canada)
David Thorndycraft, QinetiQ (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5079:
Helmet- and Head-Mounted Displays VIII: Technologies and Applications
Clarence E. Rash; Colin E. Reese, Editor(s)

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