Helmet-mounted displays

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

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Unread post27 Jan 2015, 09:12

maus92 wrote:The DAS system has blind spots close in, but as you get farther away from the aircraft, the sensors' FOV begin to overlap to fill in coverage. High false alarm rate - still has that.


True, it should be some tens of meters after which the FOV of each sensor will overlap. False alarm rate is most likely a combination of very sensitive sensors, complex capabilities and still immature software. It's a balance between having high sensitivity and reliability in detection and tracking of different kinds of threats and objects. These things are fairly easily fixed with software fixes and upgrades. Of course it takes some time in designing, implementing and testing all that additional and fixed software out of and in aircraft.
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Unread post27 Jan 2015, 16:00

maus92 wrote:The DAS system has blind spots close in, but as you get farther away from the aircraft, the sensors' FOV begin to overlap to fill in coverage. High false alarm rate - still has that.


You should have seen what happened when helicopters with automatic systems flew over woodfires overseas. :doh:
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Unread post27 Jan 2015, 17:41

spazsinbad wrote:I'm not suggesting that the JHMCS and the HMDS III are the same but wondering if in some circumstances a newbie F-35 pilot may have an issue similar to this newbie qualified on JHMCS pilot had in the lost Super Hornet. I'll guess that everyone in the F-35 world has paid attention to this report etc.
Navy report: 2014 Super Hornet crash was preventable
15 Jan 2015 Mike Hixenbaugh | The Virginian-Pilot

"...In one of the jets, a young pilot was flying his first training mission since becoming qualified to use a special helmet that projects key flight data - such as air speed, altitude, target range - onto his visor [JHMCS].

The pilot, investigators learned later, hadn't gone through a recommended computer-based course before being cleared to fly with the visor-mounted display. In fact, the investigator discovered, out of 17 squadrons based at Oceana, none reported requiring pilots to complete the course; only one squadron was even aware it existed....

...The crash was a reminder of how a small mistake in the cockpit of a fighter jet can snowball quickly. After entering the maneuver too fast, the pilot had seconds to take corrective action. But because he failed to execute standard cross checks - and because of his inexperience using the helmet-mounted display - he lost "situational awareness," the report said.

Oversights in training and mission prep were contributing factors, the investigator wrote. Every fighter pilot in the Navy was briefed on the findings. And moving forward, anyone flying with a helmet-mounted display must complete all available training courses...."

Source: http://hamptonroads.com/2015/01/navy-re ... reventable

I've wondered the same thing actually. Simulator flying isn't the same as sitting in the front seat and flying a real fighter aircraft, and pulling Gs.

This crash is also a textbook example of what happens when pilots with limited hours and experience barely fly the required hours. In certain USAF programs (U-2, SR-71, F-117) the pilots would fly T-38 trainers to keep their skills current. One reason why I like the KAI T-50 is its practically a scaled down F-16, whereas the other jets on offer don't have the same skill transference into the F-16 and F-35.
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Unread post27 Jan 2015, 19:57

It sounds like Sim time was the solution, not the problem.
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Unread post27 Jan 2015, 20:22

SpudmanWP wrote:It sounds like Sim time was the solution, not the problem.


It certainly wouldn't hurt. Most of the Viper B-course students at Luke and everyone at Holloman (still one Block 25 squadron at Luke) fly with JHMCS from their first sortie onwards. I'm curious at to why the Navy hasn't gone that direction in the Hornet RTUs. I know all the USAF Vipers have the HMCS setup, and I was under the impression that all the Hornets and Super Hornets were in the same boat (zing).
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Unread post10 Feb 2015, 05:21

F-35 Display Improvement Air Force SBIR 2015.1 - Topic AF151-020
Opens: January 15, 2015 - Closes: February 25, 2015

"TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Air Platform AF151-020 F-35 Display Improvement

The technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), 22 CFR Parts 120-130, which controls the export and import of defense-related material and services, including export of sensitive technical data, or the Export Administration Regulation (EAR), 15 CFR Parts 730-774, which controls dual use items. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign nationals (FNs), their country(ies) of origin, the type of visa or work permit possessed, and the statement of work (SOW) tasks intended for accomplishment by the FN(s) in accordance with section 5.4.c.(8) of the solicitation and within the AF Component-specific instructions. Offerors are advised foreign nationals proposed to perform on this topic may be restricted due to the technical data under US Export Control Laws. Please direct questions to the AF SBIR/STTR Contracting Officer, Ms. Gail Nyikon, gail.nyikon@us.af.mil.

OBJECTIVE: Develop displays for F-35 that have higher refresh rate, resolution, and brightness, with improved touch screens, optimized power/thermal management, and lower weight.

DESCRIPTION: Cockpit displays for fighters have performance requirements far beyond the commercial-state-of-the-art. Full sunlight readability and night vision compatibility are mandatory but not found in commercial offerings. Drive electronics to achieve a minimum 40:000:1 dimming range and ultra-high reliability under extreme environmental conditions are needed but unavailable in mass production products. The technical challenges include leveraging on-going revolutions in high-efficiency lighting and additive manufacturing to meet this combat cockpit need.

The goal of this F-35 Display Technology Improvement program is identify, develop, and integrate technologies to achieve a threshold (objective) 84 Hz (108 Hz) update rate, 8 Mpx (32 Mpx) image resolution, 600 fL (1200 fL) sustained day luminance, 0.01 fL (0.001 fL) night luminance with electro-optical emissions compatible with digital and analog helmet/cockpit-mounted cameras, advanced touch screens compatible with flight-gloved hands, 2X (4X) less net power via higher efficiency materials and energy re-cycling, advanced heat transfer and storage materials, lower weight substrates and structural housings. The main focus is on improvements for the 20x8-in. primary multifunction display that can demonstrate life-cycle cost (LCC) or warfighter effectiveness improvements that would justify switching the from the current circa 2004 AMLCD designs to incorporate manufacturing technology improvements available in circa 2016 components.

Teaming with prime contractors for transition analysis and support is encouraged. Affordability and availability should continue to be addressed by using commercial fabrication facilities to fabricate military-unique designs.

Flat panel technologies revolutionized cockpits during the 1990s and were the basis for an epochal shift from electromechanical and cathode-ray tube flight instruments to the avionics-grade sunlight-readable, reliable, active matrix liquid crystal displays (AMLCDs) that now dominate crew station design. Large-area AMLCDs have enabled the realization, in the F-35 cockpit, of the combat advantage demonstrated in the 1988-1992 AFRL ATD entitled Panoramic Cockpit Controls and Displays (PCCADS). PCCADS demonstrated that a large area, integrated main instrument panel display and a digital day/night vision/cueing system would increase combat effectiveness by 45 percent.

Current displays have limitations that have been accepted to affordably achieve threshold levels of pilot-vehicle interfaces. Technology obsolescence problems and improved performance opportunities require new innovations.

Improvements in power-hungry AMLCD technologies are possible for both the main panel (currently dominated by a 20x8-in. AMLCD driven as two 1280x1024 pixel windows) and the helmet system. The see-through helmet-mounted display (HMD) design uses miniature AMLCDs reflected off the visor using classical optics. Significant advances have been made, since the time of F-35 cockpit design freeze, for both the large-area direct-view 20x8-in. display and the miniature flat panels in the HMD. The 20x8-in display and the HMD are now both over 4X less resolution compared to the current state of the art. Higher pixel densities with the same or less power are possible to provide more detailed situational awareness displays. Substrates are lighter yet stronger. And new flat panel technologies, such as active matrix organic emitting diode (AMOLED) and electrophoretic, are on the verge of becoming competitive with AMLCD for avionics cockpit applications. Other HMD component technology improvements are emerging from DoD programs like the AFRL Alternative Night/Day Imaging Technologies (ANIT) program.

PHASE I: Design displays in form-factors for F-35 that weigh less, incorporate improved touch/gesture control interface, optimize power/thermal management, and have higher refresh rate, resolution, luminance. Perform LCC and pilot-effectiveness analyses to determine value of improvements. Develop roadmap for feature introduction and initial technology transition plan.

PHASE II: Fabricate and test prototype displays in the form-factor required by F-35 that weighs less, incorporates a improved touch/gesture control interface, optimizes power/thermal management, and has higher refresh rate, resolution, and luminance. Assess production and reliable sourcing issues throughout the vendor chain involved (AMLCD fabs, system integration facilities, labs for testing to combat avionics performance requirements). Update transition plan and life cycle cost analysis.

PHASE III: Assess DoD market for F-35 new/replacement displays and for other aircraft. Develop a detailed Air Force Human System Integration Plan. Refine design from Phase II prototype into a production design. Establish reliable supply chain and supply chain management system. Fabricate production displays.

REFERENCES:
1. Darrel G. Hopper, "Display science and technology for defense and security," SPIE 5214, 1-10 (2004) 10p.

2. Darrel G. Hopper, "The 1000X difference between current displays and the capability of the human visual system," SPIE 4022, 378-389 (2000) 12p.

3. Daniel D. Desjardins and Darrel G. Hopper, "Military display market segment: avionics," SPIE Vol. 5801, 161-172 (2005).

4. L-3 Wins F-35 JSF Panoramic Cockpit Display Contract Worth up to 200M, Defense Industry Daily, Nov. 22, 2005."

Source: http://www.zyn.com/sbir/sbres/sbir/dod/af/af151-020.htm
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Unread post25 Feb 2015, 02:08

No spare helmets issued and the jet is hobbled without them. What were the designers thinking with such a vulnerable concept? LOL :D



http://www.smh.com.au/technology/techno ... 3ko9d.html

Revolutionary F-35 Joint Strike Fighter pilot's smart helmet will cost a bomb
"When a fifth-generation fighter meets a fourth-generation fighter—the [latter] dies,”
CSAF Gen. Mark Welsh
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Unread post25 Feb 2015, 02:22

55 mill for (I'll guess) 100 helmetos? Is that the equation? Reporteurs huh. Earlier in this thread there was a clear indication of the cost of ONE helmet. NOW what is included in that I forget - likely any 'out of helmet' extras will be fitted in each aircraft anyway, so they will NOT be relevant. So the cost should reflect the HMDS III (wot Oz will get) along with any bits taken away from the aircraft with the helmet (and pilot PuHLeez). I'll go refind that info now....

[Meanwhile I see the print reporter (I was listening to the video) makes this statement just below video window:
"...It's arguably the most expensive and technically complex piece of headgear ever produced and before any Royal Australian Air Force pilot steps into the cockpit of the new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) jet, they will need to be fitted with a custom-made $770,000 flight helmet.

With the Australian government committed to purchasing 72 of the controversial fighters at a cost of $12.4 billion, the bill for these smart helmets alone could exceed $55 million.

And that's if there is only one pilot per aircraft, although typically an air force will train more pilots than there are jets in a fleet...."


HERE IS THE ONE HELMET (to rool them all) quote from above URL:
"...And there are no spares. Each pilot is only issued with the one...."

I would like to see said reporteur to justify that claim "And there are no spares" with a credible source. Sure each pilot is issued with an 'individually tailored HMDS III' HOWEVER it makes no sense that spare helmets - not so tailored - will be purchased for 'tailoring as required' in the same way spare engines are purchased - just in case.... NO?

According to my 'back o'postagestamp' calculations here the price of one helmet is 0.3 mill [ viewtopic.php?f=62&t=16223&p=274141&hilit=thebaynet#p274141 ] - now divide 55 by .3 and we have HEAPS o'HELMUTS (peculiar to OzParliaMUNT Spellun [ viewtopic.php?f=62&t=16223&p=252539&hilit=helmut#p252539 ]). :devil: Oz Pilots can DROP A HELMET AND GET ONE FREE (kick in the backside more likely). :doh:

AND... Look at this sad and very lonely sentence at the very end of the crapola about the Expensive Helmet (which does a great deal to help UNFRY pilot brains otherwise - all the time).... FankGudNess our two main political players in Federal Parliament are not using the F-35 Buy as a political foosball (unlike say... Canada).
"...Government backbencher Dennis Jensen last year branded his government's commitment to the JSF as a "great national scandal" and "worse than a disgrace"."
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Unread post25 Feb 2015, 17:23

The report is getting their helmet unit cost info from the arstechnica site:

http://arstechnica.com/information-tech ... -delivery/

If you convert the US$ 600K unit cost per helmet to AUS$, you get AUS$ 770K, then multiply that by 72 units, you get AUS$ 55M.

US$ 600K cost per Gen III helmet is about US$ 100K more than the last price I heard, which was ~ 500K... Possibly the difference between Gen II & III? Who knows, but they need to be making a very good helmet bag...
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Unread post25 Feb 2015, 17:28

Good news, the HMD works perfectly. Bad news, at mach speeds it gets vertigo. It'll be such an achievement when it's 100%
There's an old rule among many in the fighter procurement business: "Too Early to Tell, Too Late to Stop".
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Unread post25 Feb 2015, 17:55

"Frankly, I don't give a damn" where the erroneous numbers came from - ARSEtechnical or otherwise. This is what is important & referenced above (but who cares - certainly not the naysayers eh):
[HMDS] Navy Contracts
24 Jun 2014

"Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded a $75,980,553 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (N00019-12-C-0004) for the procurement of 252 helmet mounted display systems [301.5K each?] in support of the F-35 Lightning II aircraft for the U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, and the governments of Japan and Israel...."

Source: http://www.thebaynet.com/news/index.cfm ... y_ID/37815
Last edited by spazsinbad on 25 Feb 2015, 19:34, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post25 Feb 2015, 18:54

A liberty to reformat the endless one line sentences has been taken to make multi-sentence paragraphs for this comparatively SHORT extract from a very long post of compilations (already published) so the text below is new. SKAFF along with a few other F-35 notables (Art Tomassetti is another) is HIGH on my list of 'people to meet' preferably in an up to date F-35 sim so he can explain it. :mrgreen:
“The Plane is a Broker of Information”: A Conversation with Mike Skaff
25 Feb 2015 Robbin Laird

"[Laird]...For Skaff, it is very rewarding to be getting this kind of feedback from the F-35 pilot community and also the formation of an initial users group shaping demand for changes in the way the cockpit and its integrated systems operate. In other words, he is learning what the pilots like and what they don’t; what works the way it was designed and what needs to be improved or changed.
[Skaff] When we approached the design of the F-35 cockpit, we actually thought of dividing the two screens into an air-to-air screen and an air-to-ground screen. But the pilots did not want us to do that, for they wanted much greater flexibility to reshape to their operational demands and needs of the moment.

Now, the pilot can program what he wants to see on the tactical situation display. He has the air picture, the ground picture, or both pictures; a navigation picture or whatever he believes is most crucial to his mission success at that time. And so what you described was what we had anticipated that each pilot would have a different technique, a different way to employ the jet. And so I’m glad to hear you say that.

I think though the technology is moving so fast and so now we see the commercial world it’s outpacing us. And we say, oh, I wish we had that in the cockpit. Now we’re not yet ready for a technology refresh because there’s enough hardware robustness that we can just change the software. And we’ve talked before about a software-defined jet. And so that’s good news. We can do a lot of upgrades and alterations using the software.


Question: Clearly, one change is in display area where change will come over time. What is your thinking about this challenge?

Skaff:
It is. With regard to the sensors, there is a lot of trade space. But in the displays where I work it is tighter. We are getting closer to the limits in graphics processing technology. What you see on commercial displays may appear in the future on the airplane, but not right away.

When we talk to the manufactures of new gaming display technologies they make it clear that the virtual reality machines are using something called texture as opposed to vectors. And so when sensors report battle space we typically portray that to the pilot in vector form, circles, squares, triangles, radar dishes, etc. And so these chip makers told us their chips don’t do that. We’re not quite there yet, but we’re almost there.

But we’re going to have to rethink how we portray information for the pilot. And that’s always the trick. Because we know that we’re deep in the information age and information dominance is what makes us lethal. The person that can garner and use information the quickest and the best is going to be victorious. And so the more I know and the better I can act on that.

And so in this information age we realize that that airplane is just a broker for information. So the smart person can use gray matter to decide how to act upon that information and then dominate in battle space. That really is the key. And we’ve talked about how do you dominate?

Do you interconnect the vehicles? Do you dominate that way? And so if somebody knows something that I don’t know I may want to know it, but I don’t know until you show me what you have. And so we’re to the point where you do a search on Google you get back too much information. You’ve got 10,000 hits on this search word, well, which one is the one you want? Haven’t you done that before? And you keep going next page, next page, next page, and five pages in was what you were really thinking about and going for. And you wonder how come the machine couldn’t have put that on the first page? What caused it to do that? And so that’s what we’re wrestling with now.

Trying to figure out what the war fighter needs and when she needs it and determining the best way to present that information on those big displays is crucial for information dominance.

Question: Clearly, with a growing number of pilots flying the airplane, they will be key factors in shaping your thinking about the way ahead in engineering terms. How do you see that process?

Skaff:
When I worked on the F-16, many of the changes came from input from the pilots. How are you using our product? Where are the problems? Where does it let you down? What didn’t we think of that you want on the airplane? We will do the same with the F-35.

And there is a new technological aspect which will shape the way ahead as well, namely the new helmet technology. With pilots using both the screen and helmet technologies over time, they will determine how they use these integrated but different systems. The helmet is working really well. Remember we talked about that as being risky, and we’ve mitigated all the risk and we’re very pleased, have high expectations that it’s working better than anticipated.

And so there are things in there that we have not even dreamt of using that for. And looking through the airplane with DAS, that’s neat. But it’s way more than that. That sensor has tremendous potential. The hardware is installed, there’s plenty of trade space to change the software. What else can those cameras detect?

And we are now reaching the point where we will shape military standards for the new helmet, and as we do so, provide baselines for moving ahead and future modernization. Much of this will be determined by pilot use and re-engineering to deal with design shortfalls or simply desires by the operators to do it differently from how we initially designed the system to work...."

Source: http://www.sldinfo.com/the-plane-is-a-b ... ike-skaff/
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Unread post25 Feb 2015, 23:16

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Unread post26 Feb 2015, 03:05

More idiotic commentary on the helmet. Only the removable helmet liner is bespoke to individual pilots, not the helmet. LOL..

http://www.geek.com/chips/f-35-helmet-u ... w-1616488/
Of course, a visual apparatus this advanced can’t just be snapped on like a common Oculus Rift– each of the helmets has to be custom moulded to the particular pilot (huh?) thanks to a detailed 3D head scan, and thus cannot be worn by anyone else. Engineers take very precise pupillary measurements so the helmet can be built to keep the display in view no matter how the pilot looks about. This means that if a pilot retires, they can’t just pass their helmet on to the next recruit; Australians will be on the hook to pay for a replacement. If it were me, that’s where I would start arguing that I should be able to take the helmet home with me when I retire, but knowing the military they’d probably get all uptight about it.
"When a fifth-generation fighter meets a fourth-generation fighter—the [latter] dies,”
CSAF Gen. Mark Welsh
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Unread post26 Feb 2015, 03:18

:notworthy: Good point 'popcorn'. :applause: YEP that blogOpoop has this sentence sliding straight off the paper:
"...In Australia, for instance, a $12 billion purchase of 72 super-advanced F-35 fighter jets has sparked a major political scandal...."

So where does the author hail from? GEEKvile eh. Must be weird there because there is NOTHING in OzLand that disrupts our usual 'how ya goin' mate' reverie - including any NON-controversy 'bout dem Lightenings (yep deliberately misspult - for the Kiwis). :mrgreen: And just so's youse know - I ain't a KIWI! :devil:

Text below repeated from earlier in this thread:
The Perfect Fit Rockwell Collins’ unique expertise differentiates us for the F-35 Gen III Helmet Mounted Display System.
HORIZONS 2014 VOLUME 19 ISSUE 2

"...According to Kalsow, each fitting presents its own unique challenges.

“We have to fit a helmet to an asymmetrical human head so the optics package on the display visor is within two millimeters of exact center of each of the pupils,” he explained. The process takes approximately four hours per helmet and involves two contact days with each pilot. On the first contact day, precise measurements are taken of the pilot’s head, including a 3D head scan and the use of a pupilometer to measure the distance between the pupils.

Once Kalsow and Breuer have the measurements and the helmet components – most of which are produced at our company’s facility in Wilsonville, Oregon – they begin assembling the helmet. This process includes custom-milling each helmet liner so the helmet fits the individual’s head comfortably and maintains its stability under high gravity (G) maneuvers.

“Our helmet liner must stand up to the pressure of high G manuevers so the optics package remains aligned with the pilot’s field of view,” Kalsow noted.

When the helmet is assembled, the pilot comes in for a fitting during the second contact day. It’s at this time that the
optics package is aligned to the pilot’s pupils and the display visor is custom contoured – a process that must be done
precisely so the pilot has a single focused image at infinity...."

Source: http://issuu.com/rockwellcollinshorizon ... 19issue2/1 (PDF 4Mb)

Go here and especially to the second URL below to download a seven page extract of the article from the larger PDF:

viewtopic.php?f=62&t=16223&p=279865&hilit=Kalsow#p279865
&
viewtopic.php?f=62&t=16223&p=274480&hilit=Kalsow#p274480

HALF a MegaByte PDF of same here: download/file.php?id=19138

SOME ADDED DETAIL about fitting (vaguely I recall the helmet shells came in three sizes? I'm looking for that info)
Getting fit for your jet fighter helmet
30 Sep 2014 John McHale

"..Once the measurements are made they begin assembling the helmet. This process includes custom-milling each helmet liner so the helmet sits comfortably on the pilot’s head while maintaining stability under high gravity (G) maneuvers so the optics continue to match up to the individual’s field of view, explains McKillip. “They custom fit the pads in the helmet based on head size,” Gunther says...."

FROM: viewtopic.php?f=62&t=16223&p=279865&hilit=size#p279865

Source: http://mil-embedded.com/articles/gettin ... er-helmet/
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