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Proceedings Paper

Optical waveguide technology and its application in head-mounted displays
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Paper Abstract

Applying optical waveguide technology to head mounted display (HMD) solutions has the key goal of providing the user with improved tactical situational awareness by providing information and imagery in an easy to use form which also maintains compatibility with current night vision devices and also enables the integration of future night vision devices. The benefits of waveguide technology in HMDs have seen a number of alternative waveguide display technologies and configurations emerge for Head mounted Display applications. BAE System's presented one such technology in 2009 [1] and this is now in production for a range of Helmet Mounted Display products. This paper outlines the key design drivers for aviators Helmet Mounted Displays, provides an update of holographic Optical Waveguide Technology and its maturation into compact, lightweight Helmet Mounted Displays products for aviation and non-aviation applications. Waveguide displays have proved too be a radical enabling technology which allows higher performance display devices solutions to be created in a revolutionary way. It has also provided the user with see through daylight readable displays, offering the combination of very large eye box and excellent real world transmission in a compact format. Holographic Optical Waveguide is an optical technology which reduces size and mass whilst liberating the designer from many of the constraints inherent in conventional optical solutions. This technology is basically a way of moving light without the need for a complex arrangement of conventional lenses. BAE Systems has exploited this technology in the Q-SightTM family of scalable Helmet Mounted Displays; allowing the addition of capability as it is required in a flexible, low-cost way The basic monocular Q-SightTM architecture has been extended to offer wide field of view, monochrome and full colour HMD solution for rotary wing, fast jet and solider system applications. In its basic form Q-SightTM now offers plug-and-play solutions into any cockpit with either Analogue (stroke) or Digital Video Interface (DVI) connections. This offers a significant upgrade opportunity to those users currently struggling with cumbersome legacy CRT using conventional glass optical lenses.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 May 2012
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 8383, Head- and Helmet-Mounted Displays XVII; and Display Technologies and Applications for Defense, Security, and Avionics VI, 83830E (21 May 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.923660
Show Author Affiliations
Alexander A. Cameron, BAE Systems (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8383:
Head- and Helmet-Mounted Displays XVII; and Display Technologies and Applications for Defense, Security, and Avionics VI
Peter L. Marasco; Daniel D. Desjardins; Paul R. Havig II; Kalluri R. Sarma, Editor(s)

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