Helmet-mounted displays

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

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Unread post28 Apr 2013, 15:03

HMDS I (discarded several years ago) at this link -- http://www.google.com/url?sa=i&source=i ... 3781420035

HMDS II (the current POR, with all the fixes on-going) at this link -- http://www.google.com/url?sa=i&source=i ... 3839757327

"Alternate Path" HMDS at this link -- http://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q= ... 3877764099
Last edited by quicksilver on 28 Apr 2013, 15:20, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post28 Apr 2013, 15:13

So, Neuro, I'm sure you don't believe that BAE is doing the alternate path development, 'gratis.' And, I'm sure you don't think that the costs of developing, testing and retrofitting a conventional HUD (had they chosen to do so) would have been inconsequential. Having seen the ROMs myself, I can assure you they were substantial enough that they would likely have been the proverbial 'straw' for the program.

If you believe otherwise, I can't help you.
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Unread post28 Apr 2013, 20:36

quicksilver wrote:So, Neuro, I'm sure you don't believe that BAE is doing the alternate path development, 'gratis.' And, I'm sure you don't think that the costs of developing, testing and retrofitting a conventional HUD (had they chosen to do so) would have been inconsequential. Having seen the ROMs myself, I can assure you they were substantial enough that they would likely have been the proverbial 'straw' for the program.

If you believe otherwise, I can't help you.

Of course BAE isn't doing this 'gratis'. I didn't say they should.. either.

Thats not what I said. What I stated was that I agreed with gums assessment, that removing the HUD represented a significant development risk to the program. To go back now and add the HUD, the costs would be significant, I'm not debating that part. Pilots like gums have a unique perspective as they have been flying long enough to know what the benefits and risks of the various development choices. eg. Earlier jets didn't have a digital HUDs like current jets today do.

I found this which is one of the more technical accurate articles on the point I'm trying to make;
http://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/ ... 80%99.aspx
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Unread post28 Apr 2013, 20:46

Page 2 & 3 of this thread entry dated 10 Oct 2011 has alt helmet info BAE http://www.f-16.net/f-16_forum_viewtopi ... rt-15.html

Page 4 of this thread has info on alternate helmet DISPLAYS: BAE selected to supply F-35 joint strike fighter helmet display Nov 1, 2011

http://www.f-16.net/f-16_forum_viewtopi ... rt-45.html (BTM of page)

Page 6 of this thread has info on alternate helmet issues - 'dod-quick-look-ahern-report' entry dated 28 Dec 2011
"...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...."

http://www.f-16.net/f-16_forum_viewtopi ... rt-75.html
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Unread post28 Apr 2013, 21:27

So I was mistaken about the DAS video capability of the alternative helmet. I don't believe I'm mistaken in agreeing with the JPO that having an alternative helmet is justified from a risk management point of view. I didn't state the alternate helmet was trouble free, either.

It is my belief that part of the reason why latency is such a problem is the architecture of the ICPs processing the incoming stream. Even replacing several ICP boards with an upgraded model, with an enhanced GPU, still wouldn't be excessively costly.
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Unread post02 May 2013, 04:40

On the subject of night vision, what are the relative advantages/drawbacks of
using an IR-based system vs. one based on image intensification e.g EF Typhoon?
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Unread post02 May 2013, 05:50

Can you point us to the Typhoid info please? Tah. For Example: Do you refer to this new system?

"Night vision for Typhoon pilots 22 April 2013
Night vision goggles are being tested by Typhoon pilots to enhance and improve their flying performance at night. Developed through the Army Program Executive Office (PEO) Soldier Enhanced Night Vision Goggle advanced technology development program, BAE Systems digitally fused enhanced night vision goggle, or ENVG(D), will allow soldiers to view, via a monocular eyepiece, imagery that exploits features from visible, low-light-level, and infrared sensors. The digitized data can then be shared across the battlefield, enabling the Army’s vision for the digital battlefield. The design and delivery of this prototype is a milestone in the Army’s roadmap toward a digitally fused night vision goggle capability. It substantially improves situational awareness for our men and women in combat, which means increased mission effectiveness and, more important, increased survivability. Now the system is being developed for fighter pilots. Mounted Symbology System offers along with the night compatible cockpit, the FENN NG2000Ti goggles will provide pilots with x-ray like vision right through the night. Night Vision Goggle trials are ongoing and demonstrate the continued efforts to integrate the latest technologies into the Typhoon system."

http://www.fly-fighter-jet.com/night-vi ... on-pilots/

Whatever the new Typhoid merits it seems to me that having a wide field of view via HMDS II is much better than any 'night goggles'?

http://www.fly-fighter-jet.com/wp-conte ... oogles.jpg

TYPHOID Capability PDF (12Mb) : http://tmor.rafale.free.fr/Eurofighter_Capability.pdf

Operational Capabilities of The Eurofighter Typhoon Presented by Chris Worning Test Pilot, EADS
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Unread post02 May 2013, 07:31

spazsinbad wrote:Can you point us to the Typhoid info please? Tah. For Example: Do you refer to this new system?

"Night vision for Typhoon pilots 22 April 2013
Night vision goggles are being tested by Typhoon pilots to enhance and improve their flying performance at night. Developed through the Army Program Executive Office (PEO) Soldier Enhanced Night Vision Goggle advanced technology development program, BAE Systems digitally fused enhanced night vision goggle, or ENVG(D), will allow soldiers to view, via a monocular eyepiece, imagery that exploits features from visible, low-light-level, and infrared sensors. The digitized data can then be shared across the battlefield, enabling the Army’s vision for the digital battlefield. The design and delivery of this prototype is a milestone in the Army’s roadmap toward a digitally fused night vision goggle capability. It substantially improves situational awareness for our men and women in combat, which means increased mission effectiveness and, more important, increased survivability. Now the system is being developed for fighter pilots. Mounted Symbology System offers along with the night compatible cockpit, the FENN NG2000Ti goggles will provide pilots with x-ray like vision right through the night. Night Vision Goggle trials are ongoing and demonstrate the continued efforts to integrate the latest technologies into the Typhoon system."

http://www.fly-fighter-jet.com/night-vi ... on-pilots/

Whatever the new Typhoid merits it seems to me that having a wide field of view via HMDS II is much better than any 'night goggles'?

http://www.fly-fighter-jet.com/wp-conte ... oogles.jpg

TYPHOID Capability PDF (12Mb) : http://tmor.rafale.free.fr/Eurofighter_Capability.pdf

Operational Capabilities of The Eurofighter Typhoon Presented by Chris Worning Test Pilot, EADS



This is what I came across on the Tiffy NV system. Those 6 IR cameras comprising the DAS is a definite advantage.
[add edit:] Spaz, the excerpt you posted mentions fusion of IR and visible low- light level sensors whereas the link I posted seems to describe the latter tech only.. maybe an inadvertent omission by the author?

http://www.defencetalk.com/typhoon-test ... als-47655/
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Unread post02 May 2013, 09:05

It is still a 'GOGGLE' which is looking at a small field of view. Not satisfactory compared to working HMDS II. Night Flat Deck Landings are going to be AMAZin'.

What is iimportant (compare similar Night/Day F-35C DAS view below) is that at night the horizon will be visible amongst whatever other things visible at some distance that are not visible (with or without NVGs). The overall spatial awareness with horizon will be terrific. Otherwise Spatial Disorientation, poor depth perception awaits - not that a pilot is looking at the carrier except for 'meatball, line up and Optimum AoA. You would have to see the complete and utter blackness - and NO HORIZON often discernible - with the IFLOLS bright as a button and probably not that distinguishable at a distance (but it all gets better the closer the approach gets but by then perhaps large errors may not be correctable safely). Having that overall perception from a larger distance helps the pilot get set up sooner so as to only have to make small corrections.
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Unread post04 May 2013, 03:22

Intruder Start Dusk at Altitude into night carrier landing shows only the last few seconds with the screenshot showing what the view is like from the unmoving camera at dusk and then one of the first glimpses of the centreline at just after one mile from arrest. Check the screenshot above with HMDS II and tell me what you would like to see.

Don't forget to right click on the video - when it starts to play - to select ZOOM > Full Screen to get the best view! OR put on your HMDS II!
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Unread post14 May 2013, 00:12

2-Star: Air Wing Has To Evolve 13 May 2013
"Defense News, Navy Times’ sister publication, discussed the future of naval aviation with Rear Adm. Bill Moran, the director of air warfare, and his deputy, Rear Adm. Rich Butler. Excerpts, edited for space and clarity:...

...Q. Adm. Jon Greenert, chief of naval operations, was recently asked in the Senate what his biggest concerns are with the F-35. He said, “I need a tailhook, a helmet and a program that will deliver weapons equivalent to a Super Hornet.” Can you address those issues?...

Moran. The helmet had a variety of issues with it, green glows and jittering in maneuvers. Vice Adm. Dave Venlet [former JSF program director] decided to compete the helmets to try to drive competition, and in my view, that strategy has worked well.

We’ve seen vast improvements in all of the problem areas I just described, and it’s undergoing further tests now. We’re pretty confident the helmet’s going to be just fine. The Marine Corps is paying very close attention because they get the Generation II Helmet, which is the current version. We [USN F-35C] get the Gen III Helmet when it comes out, so we’ll have even more improved [infrared] camera capabilities with whatever design improvements come with the current testing. So in many ways we’re the beneficiaries of being the last to the table on this one. I don’t have any deep concerns about helmets.

But the software piece, we do have concerns about. We’re getting into the very complex builds of the software now.

We are watching the software burndown rates with Lockheed Martin and the Joint Program Office to continue to assess whether it is going to make it in terms of its capability and the time to match up with when we need the airplane at the end of this decade. That’s probably my biggest concern, watching the software development.

I have a lot of confidence in the structural and design pieces of the airplane. I think that the production itself is going much better than it has been. The further we get into the software development and with more capability that comes with it, the harder the software, with more code. It’s something we have to watch very closely...."

http://hrana.org/articles/2013/05/2-sta ... to-evolve/
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Unread post19 May 2013, 20:51

From recent Oz Parliament Statement about F-35 (links to follow) here is the news (note HMDS III - referred to in another post - is on way)....

Proof Committee Hansard, PARLIAMENTARY JOINT COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS, DEFENCE AND TRADE
Department of Defence annual report 2011-12, (Public) THURSDAY, 16 MAY 2013 CANBERRA

"...Senator FAWCETT: You mentioned in your opening comments that the helmet mounted display was being 'addressed'. Given the history of various 'addressing' that has occurred without resolution, could you give us some more detail on why you now have confidence that that 'addressing' is going to reach an outcome.

Air Vice Marshal Osley[Program Manager, New Air Combat Capability, Defence Materiel Organisation, Department of Defence]: When I was over in the US back in March I went to Edwards Air Force Base and spoke with the officer running the test program over there and to his deputy. One of the issues we discussed was the helmet mounted display. They have been conducting a series of flight tests purely devoted to exploring the issues with the helmet mount display system and also some of the fixes that they have been putting into the helmet mounted display to improve its performance. That testing has just been completed and they are now finalising the analysis of it. I will give you an initial readout on what the analysis is indicating there.

As you are well aware there is a dual path on the helmet. We currently have the VSI Gen II helmet. The VSI Gen III helmet, which will have an improved low-light night vision capability will be coming in about 2015 and that will then take over. We will know longer have the VSI Gen II. We will go to an all VSI Gen III helmet. You are well aware that the other path is a BAE helmet that has a night vision goggle arrangement attached to it as an interim helmet and as an alternate helmet to the VSI helmet. At the moment both paths are being progressed but of course the flight testing was all about the VSI Gen II helmet.

I think you are across the issues but I will briefly cover them. Alignment is a key one. You hop into the aircraft and on occasion the helmet display may not be aligned with the earth. That requires you to get out of the aircraft and have it realigned on the ground. They are working on a proposal to have that, whereby you in fact fine-tune that prior to getting in the aeroplane; the pilot can do it as part of his normal checkout procedures. At the moment you have to return the helmut(sic) [HelMutKohl is back again] and basically go back and have it adjusted in the workshop. They are making it so that it is pilot-adjustable.

The next one is green glow, and that is a factor of the design of the helmut, using LCDs. It implies that there is a whole lot of extraneous light that is coming in at night around the display. Even though it is noted by a few of the test pilots it is not considered an operationally significant issue for them and they can overcome that one.

The third one is jitter. There were in excess of 35 flight tests; I believe there were 38 by the time I had been to Edwards, and there were more being planned. The initial results were that they were seeing positive improvements from the modifications that had been made. So, they had adjustments to the software to counteract the jitter, and in the pre-jitter software the pilot considered that it was acceptable but that it would require some workarounds and some compensation operationally. The post-modification ones for the anti-jitter in the software were showing significant improvement. That is all I could get out of them at the time, from the commander there.

The fourth issue is DAS latency—that is, the display has a lag in it. That lag has proven in the test flights to not be significant, so it is no major concern. It is expected to meet USAF operational requirements. They have tested it and measured it and the USAF is now considering that data, but it is looking good.

The final one is the night vision camera. The Generation II helmut is not compliant in its night vision capability, and that is an issue not so much for the USAF—it can achieve their operational requirements—but for the US Marine Corps, in particular for fine motor skills of landing on the deck of an LHD and the fine motor skills involved in air refuelling off KC-130s at night doing the probe refuelling. It is a problem both with the amount of resolution you have and with the location of the camera, as you are aware. That will be fixed in the Generation III helmut by using a better system, and they are working on that. And in the interim of course the US Marine Corps are assessing whether it is operationally acceptable to go to IOC in 2015 with it, noting that they also have the alternate helmut as the backup at this time.

So, that is a readout of where we are up to at this point in time. It is an ongoing issue, and we do expect more clarity on it later in the year. But the indication from a Royal Australian Air Force point of view is that the only issue that is basically a red at the moment is the night vision camera, and from our perspective we can achieve our IOC missions with the system as it is. It is not necessarily a red for us, from an operational perspective. I will finish by saying that the helmut mounted display will not meet the specification that was planned. That is a given; it cannot meet the specification. It is a very tight specification and the Generation II will not do that. But it is looking like being operationally acceptable...."

http://www.f-16.net/f-16_forum_download-id-17588.html
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Unread post25 May 2013, 06:49

Selected Acquisition Report (SAR)
F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Aircraft (F-35)
As of December 31, 2012
"Executive Summary
...During Calendar Year (CY) 2012, software block development, Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS), and the Generation II (Gen II) Helmet Mounted Display System (HMDS) remained the major focus of program execution. All three are key capabilities that directly impact the F-35 program's ability to reach Initial Operational Capability (IOC). Therefore, these areas will remain the focus in the coming year and through the completion of SDD....

...The Gen II HMDS is a major technological advance and design challenge. HMDS issues faced by the program over the past year were: (1) “green glow” or insufficient helmet display contrast, (2) latency of the displayed information, (3) “jitter” or lack of stability of the displayed symbology, (4) night vision acuity and (5) alignment of displayed symbology.

In CY 2012, significant work, including dedicated HMDS flight testing, was undertaken to address each issue and to better understand what constitutes acceptable HMDS performance. As a result of testing, the program has mitigated the effects of four of the five HDMS issues. Additional work still needs to be accomplished to ensure that the program has a night vision camera that is effective for operations. As risk reduction, the program continues to fund development of a night vision goggle-based alternative helmet solution. The goggle-based helmet development will continue until the HMDS demonstrates improvement in all of the risk areas...."

https://www.box.com/shared/xg5r07yw9ywoecpmgui9 (PDF 0.7Mb) H/T 'ELP'.
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Unread post02 Jun 2013, 04:16

Selling the simulation at Lockheed Martin: A journey into the heart of procurement PR By Colin Horgan | May 16, 2013 [This same story is referenced here also: http://www.f-16.net/f-16_forum_viewtopi ... t-270.html ]
"...Your group is herded back to the administrative building for another look at one of the new helmets F-35 pilots will get to wear. You already saw one the day before, when Billy Flynn wanted to explain to everyone what the difference was between how things used before and after this new helmet’s Electro Optical Distributed Aperture System was invented. Pilots used to have to swivel their heads around and were limited to what they could see out their cockpit bubble. Now, however, you hear about how this new helmet’s DAS gives the pilot a 360-degree picture of the exterior of the plane, thanks to cameras mounted around the fuselage. If the pilot looks around, the corresponding camera will show him what it sees. To the pilot, it’s as if the plane doesn’t exist. It is a marvel of technology and design, they all say.

Major Jay Spohn, an instructor pilot who’s part of the Florida Air National Guard, tells you that within the parameters the Eglin pilots are permitted to fly, they haven’t noticed any serious issues with the helmet display, as others have reported. “Some of the things that they’ve commented on that are negative about the [helmet-mounted display], we honestly don’t see those because we don’t operate in those flight regimes where the test sites have noticed any of those issues. Honestly, I can’t comment on that stuff either pro or con because I have not been in those flight regimes that the test locations have taken the aircraft to.”...

...No one seemed to know the specific figure for what the state-of-the-art helmet costs. It’s a price that’s built in with the plane – part of that apparent $85-million acquisition cost, but nobody would say what it cost to produce or replace. At Eglin, SSgt Lemuel Velazquez, who works on maintaining the helmets, told reporters that at the moment, the supply chain is designed to operate in such a way that if damaged, a new helmet part will arrive within 24 hours of being reordered, should it be necessary. However, at the moment it often takes longer. That’s important, because if the helmet (which is custom-fitted to each pilot’s head) is broken, that pilot is grounded until it’s fixed, according to Velazquez.

A recent Pentagon report from J. Michael Gilmore, the Director of Operational Testing and Evaluation, concluded the helmet-mounted display “present frequent problems” for test pilots. They complained of a “misalignment of the virtual horizon display with the actual horizon, inoperative or flickering displays, and focal problems – where the pilot would have either blurry or ‘double vision’ in the display.” According to the report, “pilots also mentioned problems with stability, jitter, latency, and brightness of the presentation in the helmet display.” Flynn claimed the lag and jitter has been fixed. “The helmet works exactly like we wanted,” he said the first day. When another reporter and I asked Velazquez follow-up questions about the reports of flickering, one defence industry journalist from an aviation magazine actually stepped in to help him out, reminding us that the thing to remember was that the helmet was still in development. Twice. Some, it seemed, are more easily converted than others...."

http://www.ipolitics.ca/2013/05/16/sell ... rement-pr/

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Unread post02 Jun 2013, 12:33

popcorn wrote:On the subject of night vision, what are the relative advantages/drawbacks of
using an IR-based system vs. one based on image intensification e.g EF Typhoon?


The nicht vision enhancement cameras originally envisaged as a bolt on option for the Typhoon were based on light intensification like the vast majority of night vision devices. They have been dropped from the requirements. An IR based system typically offers crisper images and does not require a light source at all. A NVE system is of course more simple and cheaper and it is bolted onto the helmet. The IR solution does require multiple distributed sensors which is a more comlex and thus expensive, but also more capable solution with significantly greater growth potential and wider applicabilities. Another advantage of the IR solution is that it adds no weight to the helmet. IR imagery can be projected on the HEA visor as well. On the Typhoon the PIRATE features a dedicated FLIR mode dubbed Steerable Infrared Picture on Helmet (SIRPH) which projects the FLIR image on the helmet's visor and slews the FLIR to the pilot's line of sight as determined by the helmet's optical head tracking system.

As such it should be possible to project DAS imagery on that helmet pending on proper integration as the concepts of PIRATE and DAS are different.
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