Helmet-mounted displays

Cockpit, radar, helmet-mounted display, and other avionics
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neurotech

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Unread post15 Sep 2012, 02:59

batu731 wrote:
neurotech wrote:One thing that curiously comes to mind, is that the Integrated Core Processor(ICP) is a PowerPC based system with no real GPU acceleration. Cray and IBM have tested PowerPC chips with AMD/ATI Firestream Processors, and they work quite well. From what I've been able to find out, the F-35 ICP is made by L3 and only has a relatively basic GPU for display output fitted. CPU-Only processing for the F-35 might explain why they have issues with lag, and tracking.

I can't imagine jet like F-35 lacking of floating point power , it must be something more hidden as the problem has been around for quit a few years.

Actually, pretty much all CPUs have poor FP performance compared to a GPU. Lets say they use a 4-core PowerPC processor (I think they are still single core in the F-35). A 256-Core GPU is quite typical these days, and executes FP instructions in parallel, with with many times the performance of a PowerPC core.

Early LRIP jets only had basic HMD features in software, so full testing couldn't happen earlier in development. That is why these problems weren't caught years ago.
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Unread post15 Sep 2012, 03:23

neurotech wrote:
batu731 wrote:
neurotech wrote:...Early LRIP jets only had basic HMD features in software, so full testing couldn't happen earlier in development. That is why these problems weren't caught years ago.


The exciting part of this is that the system design will allow them to continue upgrading the performance of both the processors and software without having to replace the basic structure or system I/Os. As the sub boys found out; if you soup up the I/O processing there is a lot more info in those old sensors than your antique alogorithms were able to squeeeese out.

I'm still a little ancy about the appearance of lack of distributed processing for I/O like the video you mentioned earlier, I hope I'm wrong!
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Unread post17 Sep 2012, 10:54

F-35 helmets face tough tests By Keith Rogers LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL Sep. 17, 2012

http://www.lvrj.com/news/f-35-helmets-f ... 01266.html

"...DellaVedova said among the challenges are jitter that occurs from aircraft vibrations and "latency," the time delay of camera images transmitted to a pilot's helmet. Although they are tiny fractions of a second, the time delays encountered are magnified with the pilot's binocular vision as the plane flies at up to 1½ times the speed of sound.

He said another issue that needs to be ironed out is "night-vision acuity," or the ability to see sharp, clear images.

Next week, the Joint Strike Fighter program will start more rigorous testing on the helmet, which is critical to flying the F-35 safely. Meanwhile, operational testing of the aircraft can proceed, "but there are test points we can't get to until the helmet is on track," DellaVedova said.

Already the helmet has been used to fly the plane at night and during the day, and while weapons are released. The solutions to the problems "are at hand" and will be solved, he assured.

"The maturation of technology systems to arrive at suitable night vision, weapons employment and all the flight parameters on the visor without the need for goggles is critical," he said...."
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Unread post18 Sep 2012, 00:21

Despite concerns, general confident in new F-35 fighter By Peter Urban Sep. 17, 2012

http://www.lvrj.com/news/despite-concer ... 00666.html

"...And he said there are ongoing problems with the cutting-edge pilot helmet that is critical to flying the plane.

"Today we have a helmet that works in a very rudimentary way," he said.

The carbon-fiber helmet, rigged with night-vision cameras, is designed to give pilots a 360-degree view of their surroundings. Early testing has found that the pictures and symbology transferred to the visor suffer from split-second delays, jitters and other problems for pilots flying beyond the speed of sound.

Bogdan said he does not expect that Vision Systems International, a Lockheed Martin subcontractor, will be able to resolve all of the issues with the helmet by 2015, when the Marine Corps hopes to begin using the aircraft in combat.

"Some things we can fix fairly quickly by 2015. Some things just are not going to happen because they are hardware-related," he said.

Bogdan said he was confident of having a workable helmet in the long term but more testing is needed to see if pilots can get by with the helmet available today. The Pentagon has dedicated one of its F-35 test planes in Maryland to explore that question.

"Over the next 60 to 90 days we are going to gather as much information about the helmet as we can," he said.

Project managers will also evaluate a backup helmet being developed by BAE Systems over the next 120 days, Bogdan said."

That is it for the HMD in this story.
Last edited by spazsinbad on 18 Sep 2012, 09:52, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post18 Sep 2012, 09:28

AFA 2012: F-35 HMDs to undergo further testing 17 September 2012 - 22:24 by Tony Skinner in National Harbor

http://www.shephardmedia.com/news/digit ... r-testing/

"The two helmet-mounted display (HMD) systems now under development for the F-35 Lightning II will undergo flights tests on a dedicated aircraft to overcome remaining technical issues, it has been revealed.

The deputy executive officer of the Joint Strike Fighter programme, Maj Gen Christopher Bogdan, told reporters at the Air Force Association's Air & Space conference that a number of issues with Vision Systems International’s (VSI) HMD were still to be ironed out.

Bogdan said issues with the HMD provided by VSI - a joint venture between Rockwell Collins and Elbit Systems - include a lack of acuity, latency, 'jitters', alignment and queuing.

The ongoing problems led to BAE Systems being awarded a contract in October 2011 to deliver a HMD system for the programme for use with detachable night vision goggles.

Bogdan said the alternative helmet was introduced in order to meet programme requirements should the VSI HMDS fail to deliver.

Now, a dedicated aircraft has been set aside at Patuxent River Naval Air Station for 60-90 days of tests of both HMDs. This is likely to lead to a critical design review and a possible down-select to one helmet,

‘The problem we have at the moment is a lack of data so we need to learn as much about the [VSI] helmet as we can. This will include night flying, flying in weather and coming up with fixes for some of these issues,’ Bogdan said.

He noted that the tests would also determine whether BAE Systems’ Night Vision Goggle Helmet Mounted Display (NVG HMD) system, which includes the Q-SIGHT waveguide display and detachable NVGs, was a suitable ‘back-up plan’.

Lockheed Martin has previously outlined its own solution to the HMD issues, including 'small tweaks in technology' to remedy latency issues; the addition of micro-IMUs to stabilise imagery for the pilot; and integration of a night vision, near-IR cameras to be mounted in the nose of the aircraft."
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Unread post19 Sep 2012, 01:24

One F-35 Devoted to Testing Troublesome Helmet Sep 18, 2012 by Amy Butler


"F-35 program officials have set aside a single aircraft for testing only of the Vision Systems International helmet that has plagued the program for more than a year owing to jitter, latency and other operational problems discovered in testing.

The aircraft will be flown on these special helmet missions at NAS Patuxent River, Md., says Maj. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, deputy F-35 program director. Bogdan has been nominated to take the top F-35 post once approved by the Senate, and he made his remarks Sept. 17 at the Air Force Assn. conference here. The testing will take up to 90 days, he says."


Mor at the jump:

http://www.military.com/daily-news/2012/09/18/one-f35-devoted-to-testing-troublesome-helmet.html
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Unread post19 Sep 2012, 02:17

Why can't this testing be done by the primary contractors on the CATBird?
Isn't it capable of being equipped with all the same stuff that this F-35 is equipped with?
Wasn't that the point of the CATBird, to validate systems and allow lots of systems engineers to see the results themselves onboard without having to have a real F-35.
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Unread post19 Sep 2012, 02:40

The HMDS has been aboard the CATBird. However I doubt the CATBird has the actual performance of an F-35 under G loading or Mach Number.

http://www.codeonemagazine.com./images/ ... 7_1876.jpg
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http://codeonemagazine.dialogs.com/imag ... 7_3936.jpg
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Unread post19 Sep 2012, 03:50

Great post Spaz as usual.
Well perhaps the dedicated F-35 is a validation staging point for fixes that are being evaluated in the CATBird first?
That way if the fix isn't validated the whole fleet isn't affected by a patch or firmware/hardware that doesn't deliver as expected???
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Unread post19 Sep 2012, 04:25

spazsinbad wrote:The HMDS has been aboard the CATBird. However I doubt the CATBird has the actual performance of an F-35 under G loading or Mach Number.

Perhaps Lockheed Martin should get a Gulfstream G550 or something for their next CATBird. When operating under an "experimental" classification, the G-limit is higher than most people think. I've heard unconfirmed figures that the G550 structural limit is around 4Gs That is the NATOPS limit of the older T-39 sabreliner in Navy service.
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Unread post19 Sep 2012, 04:30

Perhaps LM will dedicate an F-35 to HMDS II testing? Oh wait - they have.
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Unread post19 Sep 2012, 04:46

spazsinbad wrote:Perhaps LM will dedicate an F-35 to HMDS II testing? Oh wait - they have.


Well that F-35 isn't theirs, belongs to the good people of the US of A doesn't it???
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Unread post19 Sep 2012, 04:50

spazsinbad wrote:Perhaps LM will dedicate an F-35 to HMDS II testing? Oh wait - they have.

One of the biggest issues in earlier programs was recording enough data for analyzing test results. The EA-18 test aircraft (EA-1 & EA-2) had excellent instrumentation for analyzing avionics performance and debugging. They can record high bandwidth streams in real-time, for later analysis. The F-35 is even better instrumented, but they are still bumping into avionics issues that can be debugged and tested on the ground, given enough data.
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Unread post19 Sep 2012, 06:26

neurotech says: "...The F-35 is even better instrumented, but they are still bumping into avionics issues that can be debugged and tested on the ground, given enough data." Where do you see this information? The CATBird has sorted out a bunch of avionics stuff that has been successfully tested in exercises such as Northern Edge.

F-35 JSF Sensors Successfully Tested at Northern Edge 2011
http://www.azosensors.com/news.aspx?newsID=2874 June 29, 2011 By Andy Choi

http://www.sldinfo.com/wp-content/uploa ... n-Edge.jpg

This thread is about the Helmet and associated bits and pieces. AFAIK the avionics testing is OK. What is not known or tested is the HMDS in the operational environment of High G and bumpy fast speed. Hence a dedicated F-35. It is important to get the HMDS working correctly and nice to see that this may happen soon enough.
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Unread post19 Sep 2012, 06:32

"F-35 program officials have set aside a single aircraft for testing only of the Vision Systems International helmet...." Hair Splitting is good.
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