LANTIRN HUD Diffractive Combiner Prototype

Technical Information

Catalogue No: C0554
Category: Head-Up Display [HUD]
Object Type: Module/Sub-Assembly/Component
Object Name: LANTIRN HUD Diffractive Combiner Prototype
Part No: None
Serial No: None
Manufacturer: Marconi Research
Division: Unknown
Platform(s): F-16C/D Fighting Falcon 
Year of Manufacture: circa 1970
Dimensions:
Width (mm):
263 
Height (mm):
213 
Depth (mm):
220 
Weight (g):
4,960 
Location: Archive Object Store
Inscription(s):

None

Notes:

This item was acquired in 2007 from Gt Baddow. It is a prototype assembly of combiner elements for the LANTIRN HUD and was possibly made as early as 1970 before the holographic work moved to Rochester.

GEC-Marconi Avionics began development of diffractive (holographic) optical elements in the late 70’s building on the work of the Marconi Research Centre at Great Baddow under Dr Firth. A clean room was opened at Rochester in 1987 to carry out research and to manufacture holographic elements. It has an optical bench going down to bedrock to minimise the vibrations from the nearby motorway!

The Company developed a diffractive optical system using three combiner elements which gave a large Head Motion Box. In 1980 Marconi won the contract to supply the HUD for the USAF LANTIRN programme of which 932 were manufactured for the USAF. The LANTIRN programme links a Forward Looking Infra-Red system to the HUD to present a TV picture at night of the outside world. The slight loss of transmission through the three combiner elements was not a problem in night operation although not ideal for Air-to-Air.

A raster display alone cannot give adequate symbol resolution and ensure that the symbology is always visible over the brightest shade of raster. A technique of drawing all the symbology cursively in the field blank period of the video was developed which meant drawing nearly ten times as fast. Suddenly flying by night at low level was possible. The HUD gives a 30° field of view in azimuth; essential for looking into turns and a 20° vertical view. The HUD was known as the DHUD for Diffractive HUD or WARHUD for Wide Angle Raster HUD.

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