Symbology Improvements Leading to Validated Ecological Representations for HUD Applications to Improve Warfighter Knowledge (SILVERHAWK)

Period of Performance: 07/11/2016 - 05/10/2017

$80K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Charles River Analytics, Inc.
625 Mount Auburn Street Array
Cambridge, MA 02138
Firm POC
Principal Investigator

Abstract

For Navy F/A-18E/F and F-35C pilots, carrier landings remain one of the most dangerous flight procedures. Modern heads-up displays (HUDs) and helmet-mounted display systems (HMDS) visualize integrated information from on-jet sensors and from carrier sensors through data-links with precision ship-relative navigation (PS-RN) to help aircrews perceive and anticipate whether they will be in-phase with the carrier deck during landing. However, the current HUD symbology does not incorporate these new information sources in natural, perceptually useful ways. To address this gap, we propose to use established Ecological Interface Design (EID) theory to design and demonstrate Symbology Improvements Leading to Validated Ecological Representations for HUD Applications to Improve Warfighter Knowledge (SILVERHAWK). We will first conduct a cognitive analysis with 4th/5th generation pilots to develop an inventory of tasks and perceptual constraints with current display symbology. Next, we will use perceptually driven concepts from 2D/3D attention, volumetric rendering, and information visualization to design intuitive, high-confidence symbology sets. We will then construct and evaluate working prototypes of promising SILVERHAWK displays within a medium fidelity flight simulator. The resulting SILVERHAWK displays will allow pilots to efficiently perceive and integrate PS-RN information to support stabilized rate of ascent and line-up for precise and safe carrier landings.