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SBIR/STTR

High Resolution Autostereoscopic Cockpit Display, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

The utility of stereoscopic 3D image representation in many applications is now well established. It is not just a matter of stereo being better than 2D, but of stereo being necessary to interpret representations of complex data sets, physical phenomena, engineering designs and position in space. The US Air Force has long recognized the potential for 3D displays in the cockpit but until now the limitations of 3D display technology have prevented implementation. Interest in 3D image display has recently surfaced among SPAWAR and among agencies who use helicopters and firms that make camera systems for helicopters for use in power line inspection, law enforcement, and military applications. There is also interest in the use of plane mounted cameras in collision avoidance while taxiing on runways, where 3D display may be of benefit because it can show the pilot how much room there is between the plane and obstacles. 3D displays for these applications must be of the glasses free type, but current embodiments of such displays possess extremely low resolution, produce visual artifacts, and tend to produce very narrow viewing areas. Under a recent DOE SBIR Phase II contract DTI developed a new glasses free 2D/3D switchable display that avoids the resolution loss, visual artifacts, and viewing restrictions associated with all other autostereoscopic displays, providing full HD resolution in 3D as well as in a 2D viewing mode. DTI's believes that this new technology can lead to the first practical implementation of a 3D display in the cockpit. During this Phase I program DTI will investigate the adaptation of its 2D/3D displays to cockpit displays through compact design, ruggedizing, and the development of mechanical, electronic, computer, and software interfaces to an aircraft system. This investigation will lead to a high level design and specification for a prototype display that can developed in Phase II and delivered for testing in a cockpit or simulator. More »

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