Real-time Holography Cockpit Display

Period of Performance: 01/01/1988 - 12/31/1988

$658K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Light Fantastic, Inc.
23 W Middle Ln
Rockville, MD 20850
Principal Investigator

Abstract

THE "SUPER COCKPIT" CONCEPT, IN WHICH THE PILOT OF AN AEROSPACE VEHICLE BECOMES A MANAGER OF DATA RATHER THAN A PROCESSOR, WILL COMPLETELY TRANSFORM THE HANDLING AND DISPLAY OF IN-FLIGHT INFORMATION. AS PART OF THIS CONCEPT, HOLOGRAPHY MAY BE USED TO GIVE THE PILOT A TRUE THREE-DIMENSIONAL VIEW OF THE BATTLEFIELD SITUATION. IN PHASE I OF THIS PROJECT, IMPORTANT DISCOVERIES WERE MADE ON HOW TO ACHIEVE REAL-TIME AUTOSTEREOSCOPY VIEWING OF OBJECTS, USING HOLOGRAPHIC OPTICS. THESE DISCOVERIES, DEVELOPED INTO BENCH-SCALE SYSTEMS IN PHASE II, WILL, WE BELIEVE, ALLOW THE FIRST DEMONSTRATION EVER OF A IMPLE REAL-TIME HOLOGRAPHIC DEVICE. THE SYSTEM HAS THE ADVANTAGE THAT IT IS ALL BASED ON COMMERCIALY AVAILABLE EQUIPMENT AND COMPONENTS, SUCH AS SPATIAL LIGHT MODULATORS. NO LENGTHY AND EXPENSIVE RESEARCH NEED BE PERFORMED TO DEVELOP NEW COMPONENTS OF THE SYSTEM WE PROPOSE. IN SUMMARY, THIS PROJECT SHOULD PRODUCE THE FIRST STEP TOWARD INSTALLING WORKING HOLOGRAPHIC SYSTEMS ON BOARD EXISTING AND FUTURE AIRCRAFT. THE OUTLINES OF THE LONG-AWAITED ROAD MAP FOR FLIGHT HOLOGRAPHIC APPLICATIONS IN THE 21ST CENTURY WILL, WE ARE CONVINCED, BECOME MUCH CLEARER.