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Proceedings Paper

Light source halos in night vision goggles: psychophysical assessments
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Paper Abstract

Anecdotal reports by pilots flying with Night Vision Goggles (NVGs) in urban environments suggest that halos produced by bright light sources impact flight performance. The current study developed a methodology to examine the impact of viewing distance on perceived halo size. This was a first step in characterizing the subtle phenomenon of halo. Observers provided absolute size estimates of halos generated by a red LED at several viewing distances. Physical measurements of these halos were also recorded. The results indicated that the perceived halo linear size decreased as viewing distance was decreased. Further, the data showed that halos subtended a constant visual angle on the goggles (1°48’, ±7’) irrespective of distance up to 75’. This invariance with distance may impact pilot visual performance. For example, the counterintuitive apparent contraction of halo size with decreasing viewing distance may impact estimates of closure rates and of the spatial layout of light sources in the scene. Preliminary results suggest that halo is a dynamic phenomenon that requires further research to characterize the specific perceptual effects that it might have on pilot performance.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 May 2005
PDF: 5 pages
Proc. SPIE 5800, Helmet- and Head-Mounted Displays X: Technologies and Applications, (19 May 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.602543
Show Author Affiliations
Greg Craig, National Research Council Canada (Canada)
Todd Macuda, National Research Council Canada (Canada)
Paul Thomas, Topaz Technology Inc. (Canada)
Rob Allison, York Univ. (Canada)
Sion Jennings, National Research Council Canada (Canada)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5800:
Helmet- and Head-Mounted Displays X: Technologies and Applications
Clarence E. Rash; Colin E. Reese, Editor(s)

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