|Category:||Head-Mounted Equipment [HMD/NVG/Glasses]|
|Object Type:||Display Unit|
|Object Name:||Helmet with Display|
|Division:||Flight Automation Research Laboratory [FARL]|
|Year of Manufacture:||circa 1987|
|Location:||Archive Object Store|
A contract from RAE (Farnborough) to build a 40deg Binocular helmet mounted display system was received in July 1987 by the company research lab FARL. A similar system had previously been delivered to RARDE but that was monocular so duplication of the parts was necessary to give a binocular capability.
The system comprised a Mk 4 flying helmet with the two optical assemblies attached to it, an Electronics unit and a Pilot’s Control Panel. A junction box allows the Electronics unit to be sited remotely. The optical assemblies contain, as well as the necessary lenses, a one inch monochrome CRT.
The system was delivered in March 1988 and was installed together with the RAE’s Symbol Generator, Helmet Position Sensor and Image Intensifier Camera on the RAE Lynx experimental helicopter as part of a visually coupled system being assembled.
Another variant of this design was supplied for trials on a McDonnell-Douglas KC-10 air to air refueling tanker. A pair of Teledyne cameras gave a stereo image to assist the boom operator of the tanker to line up the boom. The system was in this case mounted on a ’skeleton’ framework helmet derived from an industrial ‘hard hat’. Yet another trial of this binocular system was made with General Dynamics Land Systems for use in an indirect viewing system for land vehicles. The optical system was also used as a demonstrator for the German PAH1 Helicopter HMD.
These ‘lab’ systems were essentially tools used to evaluate HMD performance and acceptability and yet another 40deg by30deg variant was delivered to Southampton University for this work.
In early 1989 the development of a 55deg optical system, based on the earlier design, was started which was to have 30mm eye relief, a 12mm exit pupil and a target weight of less than 2.5kg. The optics had fully adjustable eye relief and inter-ocular separation and because of the large field-of-view was driven from a high resolution display offering about 900 lines. The HMD was used by the RAE for Helicopter Simulator research. The RAE system was the first HMD to incorporate an integrated Eye Tracker.