Low Cost Wide Field of View Head Mounted Display for Aviation Training

Period of Performance: 09/29/2008 - 09/29/2010

$730K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Nvis, Inc.
11495 Sunset Hills RoadSuite 106
Reston, VA 20190
Principal Investigator

Abstract

There are three well understood approaches currently available for developing a see-through HMD: 1) Optical see-through, 2) Video see-through with Chroma-key (i.e., blue-screen ), and 3) Head-mounted projection display w/ retroflective screen Optical see-through displays provide the best possible image quality and a clear view of the physical surroundings, but have no means of performing real-time occlusion of objects in the environment. A video see-through display using a chroma-key is another option. Head-mounted cameras register the blue-screens and video capture hardware processes the final image by restricting the superimposed image to areas identified in the video. The final result provides the user with a video of their surroundings and virtual images overlaying the blue-screens. Image quality is limited by the camera resolution and color registration is subject to sufficient lighting conditions. In Phase I of this research we learned that a head-mounted projection display is limited by the quality of available retro-reflective screens and currently does not offer a viable option for a wide field-of-view display suitable for out-the-window simulation. This proposal describes an innovative HMD design that integrates these technologies and leverages strengths from each, providing natural see-through, superior visual performance, and real-time occlusion of objects in the training environment.