Helmet-mounted displays

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

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Unread post27 Nov 2011, 21:15

I cannot say about 'hand technique' for all recent USN aircraft catapult techniques. Would be easy enough to look in individual aircraft NATOPS for advice (and I don't have them all). However usually the pilot will - in the case of the A-4 - cup his hand in the pit of his stomach (no towel rack to grab as in Hornet) to catch the control column as it relatively slowly is pushed back during the cat shot againt the hydraulic control system pressure holding it vertical/still so that at the end of the launch without any transverse G, the stick can be caught, to then ensure the correct climb out attitude is held (automatically attained by horizontal stabiliser trim position). Similarly the Hornet pilot has aircraft trimmed for launch and puts his right hand out of the way temporarily so as to not interfere with the control column during launch.
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Unread post28 Dec 2011, 18:39

Rereading the QLR I was surprised to note that the standby Helmet is also not up to scratch....

"...To reduce technical risk, the JPO instituted an alternate helmet path where night acuity is achieved with currently fielded military Night Vision Goggles (NVG) rather than a camera. An additional subcontract was awarded in September 2011 for the alternate HMD development. This helmet faces issues of buffet and latency for basic symbology, with no DAS video capability (and thus not ORD­ compliant)....
_____________________

HMDS only EXTRACTS from 'dod-quick-look-ahern-report' from AVweek PDF download:

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/extra.jsp

http://www.aviationweek.com/media/pdf/a ... report.pdf (18Mb)

"(Dec. 14) DOD F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Concurrency Quick Look Review December 2011

1.1 Operational Assessment OT-IIE Report Topics
The operational test team conducted an operational assessment from June 1, 2010, to June 1, 2011, to assess the F-35’s progress toward operational effectivencss suitability, and mission capability. The team also assessed the program’s progress toward readiness for operational test and evaluation (OT&E).
Air-to-Surface Attack: The OA OT-IIE report cited unsatisfactory progress towards meeting performance requirements for the air-to-surface (A/S) attack mission capability and survivability. The chief concern cited in the report was the lack of a legacy-quality night vision capability, predicated on the lack of progress in the helmet mounted display (HMD), as well as certain classified survivability issues. The report also expressed significant concerns with aircraft performance characteristics, particularly transonic roll-off and buffet, as well as maneuvering performance. Finally, the report noted that recent design changes should improve thermal management within the cockpit but certain operating environments were likely to stress that capability. The QLR confirmed that, although progress had been made against these issues, each remains a source of concern for concurrency risk.
Close Air Support (CAS): Although the test report described progress in this mission area, the report expresscd concern with the lack of certain legacy aircraft CAS capabilities on the F-35, as well as some flaws in HMD symbology. The QLR considered a wide range of legacy (non-ORD) requirements and none were identified as sources of concurrency risk.

Air Warfare: The operational testers cited unsatisfactory progress and the likelihood of severe operational impacts for survivability, lethality, air vehicle performance, and employment. These conclusions were driven by certain classified issues, critical performance criteria for the helmet mounted display, air vehicle performance, and air-to-air weapons employment. While the QLR did not consider weapons employment requirements for the UK’s Advanced Short-Range Air-to-Air Missile (ASRAAM), the team did find concurrency risks for both the helmet mounted display and air vehicle performance, particularly for structural loading.

Electronic Attack (EA): The OA report cited specific concerns related to EA performance for suppression and defeat of enemy air defenses as well as classified lethality and survivability issues. The QLR team evaluated the classified concerns and determined that while program plans were in place to address those risks, the aforementioned concerns with the HMD and aircraft maneuverability still held....

...Deployability/Mission Generation/Training/Fleet Support: The report concluded with an assessment of the F-35 system’s readiness to forward base, deploy, and retrograde; to generate missions in the intended operating environment; to train pilots and personnel; and support flight operations. Chief among their concerns were the readiness of the ALlS and its multiplicity of configurations; the thermal management system; the integrated power package (IPP); the overall logistics footprint and systems interoperability; progress on the HMD; and low observable (LO) maintenance. While it did not explicitly review the F-35 logistics footprint, the QLR found sources of concurrency risk in several of these areas....

...3.0 Key Technical Findings
Based on the list of topics reviewed, found in Appendix Table 1, page A-6, the team identified technical issues that indicate a lack of adequate stability in the basic design which reduces confidence in additional concurrent F-35 procurement. The technical team separated these issues into four categories:
I. Areas where a fundamental design risk has been identified with realized consequences sufficient to preclude further production
II. Areas where major consequence issues have been identified, but root cause, corrective action or fix effectivity are still in development.
III. Areas where potentially major consequence is likely pending outcomes of further test discovery.
IV. Areas where consequence or cost is moderate, but the number of moderate issues poses a cumulative concurrency risk.

3.1 Findings Summary:
The following highlights the key findings:
I. The team identified no fundamental design risks sufficient to preclude further production.

II. There are 5 areas where major consequence issues have been identified, but root cause, corrective action or fix effectivity are still in development.
Helmet Mounted Display System:
The Generation II Helmet Mounted Display System (HMDS) has deficiencies in three areas which currently detract from mission tasks and its use as a certified primary flight reference: display jitter, night vision acuity, and Electro-Optical Distributed Aperture System (EO DAS) image display latency.

III. There are 3 areas where potentially major consequence is likely pending outcomes of further test discovery.
Buffet:
The aircraft are experiencing higher than predicted buffet during flight test, and tests have not reached the areas of highest predicted buffet loads (above 20 degrees angle of attack). High buffet loads can produce higher-than expected airframe loads, particularly on the vertical tail surfaces, as well as poor ride quality and associated workload distractions. It can also interfere with use of the helmet mounted display system (HMDS)....


...I. The team identified no fundamental design risks sufficient to preclude further production.
II. Areas where major consequence issues have been identified, but root cause, corrective action or fix effectivity are still in development
Helmet Mounted Display System:
The Generation II (Gen-II) Helmet Mounted Display System (HMDS) has deficiencies in three areas which currently detract from mission tasks and the HMDS use as a certified primary flight reference: display jitter, night vision acuity, and Electro-Optical Distributed Aperture System (EO DAS) image display latency. The Gen-II HMDS is currently rated as a program-level high development risks.

Aircraft buffet induces HMD display jitter, making symbology unreadable under those conditions. This is tactically significant, especially for visual-range air-to-air weapons employment (gun tracking, high off-boresight [HOBS] missile cueing) and surface-to-air / air-to-air threat reactions. Turbulence may induce significant effects even during low-g, administrative phases of flight. A Micro Inertial Measurement Unit is being considered in an attempt to cancel out jitter effects, but this remains to be tested.

The current JSF system provides poor night vision acuity with the existing Gen-II night vision camera. Acuity of the current night vision camera (approximately 20/70 under best-case full moon conditions) is not as capable as the currently fielded military night vision goggles (NVG) (approximately 20/25). Also, camera acuity drops off more rapidly than NVG acuity as illumination levels decrease. A proposed improvement to the night vision camera is currently planned. However, it is not expected to achieve legacy acuity, and it is not yet available for integrated testing.

HMDS latency is excessive and detracts from mission capability. Currently, DAS video imagery latency is approximately 130 msec and basic symbology latency is approximately 50 msec, while the specifications are less than 40 msec and less than 30 msec respectively. A full-motion simulator study will be conducted in the spring of 2012 to characterize effects of different time latencies. The results of this study will help to inform a technical solution. It should also be noted that the simulator is very limited in its ability to duplicate the effects on the HMDS due to buffet environment, g-loading, or vestibular phenomena, so the effects of latency may not be fully understood until the chosen corrective action is flight tested.

To reduce technical risk, the JPO instituted an alternate helmet path where night acuity is achieved with currently fielded military Night Vision Goggles (NVG) rather than a camera. An additional subcontract was awarded in September 2011 for the alternate HMD development. This helmet faces issues of buffet and latency for basic symbology, with no DAS video capability (and thus not ORD­ compliant). PDR is currently scheduled for early 2012.

An ORD-compliant Gen-II helmet remains high technical risk. It will require changes to the overall system architecture, including new integrated processor, DAS sensor modifications, and helmet modifications.

Conclusion: Major Concurrency Risk - The HMD system is integral to pilot safety, situational awareness, and tactical effectiveness and faces hardware / architecture changes to meet full requirements...

...III. Areas where potentially major consequence is likely pending outcomes of further test discovery
Buffet:
F-35 flight test aircraft are seeing higher than predicted buffet loads during flight test, and flight test has not yet been conducted in the regimes where the highest buffet loads are predicted (above 20 degrees angle of attack). One effect of buffet can be high airframe loads, particularly on vertical tail surfaces. Buffet loads on vertical tails have appeared on all twin-tailed tactical aircraft, and have often been larger than predicted, particularly for the F/A-18A/B and the F-22 programs. The consequences of these high loads can include structural retrofits and increased inspections of in-service aircraft. This risk will not be retired until high angle of attack loads flights are completed and their results are fed into airframe structural analyses. These flights cannot be performed until aircraft have been certified as stable for these flight regimes, so the full extent of buffet issues may not be apparent until CY2014.

Buffet also affects the ride quality of the aircraft, and the ability of the pilot to manage workload, perform fine tracking operations, such as required for HOBS missile targeting and gun-tracking tasks, and manipulate controls that require fine motor skills. Although the buffet severity experienced so far has been described as similar to that seen in previous tactical aircraft, thc buffet does occur in an important and large part of the flight cnvelope. Appendix Figure 12, page A-13, shows an example of buffet flight test data at 10000 ft MSL.

Completion of flight test is critical to determining the full extent of this issue. Currently this testing is scheduled to begin fall of 2012. There is significant risk that buffet spectrum will not match inputs for durability testing, affecting confidence in results. In addition, as described previously in this report, buffet detracts from HMDS utility.

Conclusion: Major Concurrency Risk - Potential structural impacts and retrofit costs as flight test explores areas of greatest predicted loads - Impacts tactical employment due to effect on cockpit environment and utility of helmet mounted display system....


...4.0 Conclusions
In the team’s review of F-35 data and analyses, no fundamental design risks sufficient to preclude further production were identified.

Five issues were found where major consequence issues have been identified, but root cause, corrective action or fix effectivity are still in development: Helmet Mounted Display System,
Fuel Dump Subsystem, Integrated Power Package, Arresting Gear System (CV variant) and a classified issue.

Three issues were found where potentially major consequence discovery is likely pending outcomes of further test discovery: Buffet, Fatigue Life, and Test Execution.

Five issues were found where consequence or cost is moderate, but the number of moderate issues poses a cumulative concurrency risk: Software, Weight Management, Thermal Concerns, ALlS and Lightning Protection.

The combined impact of these issues results in a lack of confidence in the design stability. The QLR team concludes that this lack of confidence, in conjunction with the concurrency driven conscquences of the required fixes, supports serious reconsideration of procurement and production planning."
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Unread post28 Dec 2011, 20:37

so the whole thing comes to a grinding halt because of the HMD. Gee, I hate to say it, but if this were a UCAV it would be a non issue.
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Unread post28 Dec 2011, 21:00

Much like the hook problem there are other polite noises on this thread by those responsible that 'the HMDS GenII fix is in' but yet to be implemented and flight tested. Perhaps by April 2012 the 'hook/HMDS' issues will be solved? As mentioned I was surprised to discover the alternate HMD was suffering jitter/ buffet/ latency problems. They have work to do also to stay viable.
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Unread post28 Dec 2011, 23:51

Remember that the current "solution" for night vision on the F-22 has already helped kill at least one pilot so the F-35 system just needs to be less dreadful to get copied over to the F-22.
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Unread post29 Dec 2011, 00:31

'helped' would be the key word IMHO with 'hypoxic' another word/cause left out of the accident report I read. But this is not the F-22 thread eh.
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Unread post29 Dec 2011, 00:41

But "Strike Eye" looks so good in the video don't you think?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=O0AXb2LFw84
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Unread post29 Dec 2011, 00:50

Thanks, I had not seen that video before - with the HMDS symbology. There are claims by VSI (on this thread) that the problems can be fixed.
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Unread post29 Dec 2011, 01:14

Helmet always looked like something out of "The Fly" to me.....
Image

......but as long as they get it working!
A fighter without a gun . . . is like an airplane without a wing.— Brigadier General Robin Olds, USAF.
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Unread post29 Dec 2011, 02:52

I think there are several problems with the HMD system. Both the helmet mounted and cockpit mounted night vision cameras don't provide the specified acuity and low light performance. The image latency issue is in part caused by processing and bandwidth limitations of the F-35 core processor and EO-DAS sensors. The jitter is caused by aircraft buffeting, seat vibration and helmet fit. There is also a problem with symbology, both due to jitter and incorrect symbols. Fixes include upgrading the camera sensors and tweaking the magnetic receiving units, or possibly integrating accelerometers into the system to cancel out vibrations. I would think other changes are in the works.
Last edited by maus92 on 29 Dec 2011, 03:10, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post29 Dec 2011, 02:53

spazsinbad wrote:Thanks, I had not seen that video before - with the HMDS symbology. There are claims by VSI (on this thread) that the problems can be fixed.


Same here.. VLSI produced the video and the scenaio had the B supercruising to the engagement.. anyway, it was entertaining.
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Unread post29 Dec 2011, 03:26

page 4: http://www.f-16.net/f-16_forum_viewtopi ... rt-45.html
of this thread has some 'jitter' potential fixes that have worked - or not - because it is mid-year.

page 3: http://www.f-16.net/f-16_forum_viewtopi ... rt-30.html
of this thread has the extra night vision camera solution amongst others mentioned.

page 5: http://www.f-16.net/f-16_forum_viewtopi ... rt-60.html
of this thread has the recent fixes as reiterated here again:

Lockheed Martin Awards F-35 Contract By: Zacks Equity Research Nov 17, 2011

http://www.zacks.com/stock/news/64824/L ... ract?adid=

"...The VSI team is already in the process of mitigating display jitter affecting the display symbology, enhance the helmet system's night-vision performance capabilities, and incorporate the latest digital imaging sensor capabilities into the HMDS to improve night vision performance. The joint venture has been working on these attributes since March 2011.

In the process, VSI has modified the current magnetic receiver unit (MRU) contained in the pilot's HMDS to detect both seat and aircraft vibration frequencies and filter them out in both the hardware and software contained in the HMDS display processor. It has already tested and proven the capabilities of the new MRU.

In an effort to enhance the night-vision performance capabilities, VSI is incorporating new digital night-vision sensors in both the fixed camera mounted in the cockpit and the helmet camera with the pilot's helmet mounted display (HMD). The resulting images will be sharper and more viewable at extremely low light levels...."
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Unread post29 Dec 2011, 03:44

Some piccie screenshots as seen by THE FLY (as seen above) from the movie above.
Attachments
StrikeEye (F-35B) - Mission 9.movVerticalLanding.gif
StrikeEye (F-35B) - Mission 9.movInitialTargetting.gif
StrikeEye (F-35B) - Mission 9.movJustCruising.gif
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Unread post29 Dec 2011, 23:25

spazsinbad wrote:.... The resulting images will be sharper and more viewable at extremely low light levels...."


Now this got the juices flowing again. :lol: Making this helment work is the cement that holds the "merging of the sensors" together. Not brinigng it to the helmet is almost like b/w tv. :wink:
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Unread post30 Dec 2011, 00:27

Do the same problems manifest themselves on the panoramic display?
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