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Proceedings Paper

Mask-mounted display (MMD) design considerations for diver operating environment
Author(s): Richard Manley; Dennis G. Gallagher; William W. Hughes; Charles G. Holmes
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Paper Abstract

Military and public safety divers work in a unique and extreme operational environment; characterized by high turbidity and zero visibility. To help conduct underwater securit and search/recovery missions special sensors are used. These include imaging sonar, underwater navigation systems, mapping devices, and enhanced underwater video. A visual display system is the necessary means of providing this sensor information to the diver. Unfortunately, handheld displays or displays built into the sensor are virtually useless in the environment characterized by zero visibility. "Near-to-eye" display systems incorporating micro display technology and its associated optics provide a workable solution. While a step in the right direction these "near-to-eye" systems - whether developed for commercial or military applications - have been designed for land-based (or "topside") environments, and fall far short when simply adapted to a dive mask. A diver operating underwater with a dive mask in zero visibility presents a unique challenge combining requirements for small physical size, light weight, large eye-relief (stand-off distance), high data content, and minimum power. The following paper describes the successful design of such a system from the perspective of the diver's operating environment. The resultant system is a light-weight, binocular, mask-mounted visual display that allows for extended stand-off distance (eye relief), requires no interpupillary or focus adjustments, and provides high data content color information regardless of ambient visibility conditions.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 June 2011
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 8041, Head- and Helmet-Mounted Displays XVI: Design and Applications, 80410L (1 June 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.884667
Show Author Affiliations
Richard Manley, Naval Surface Warfare Ctr. (United States)
Dennis G. Gallagher, Naval Surface Warfare Ctr. (United States)
William W. Hughes, Naval Surface Warfare Ctr. (United States)
Charles G. Holmes, Naval Surface Warfare Ctr. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8041:
Head- and Helmet-Mounted Displays XVI: Design and Applications
Peter L. Marasco; Paul R. Havig, Editor(s)

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