Near-to-Eye Display Solutions for Improving Air Force Traffic Tower Controller Capabilities

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8650-04-C-6515
Agency Tracking Number: F031-2546
Amount: $749,919.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2005
Solicitation Year: 2003
Solicitation Topic Code: AF03-046
Solicitation Number: 2003.1
Small Business Information
1330 Braddock Place, Alexandria, VA, 22314
DUNS: 083662916
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 John Ruffner
 Principal Investigator
 (571) 227-6243
Business Contact
 Richard Riordan
Title: Vice President
Phone: (571) 227-6255
Research Institution
DCS Corporation is proposing to develop and evaluate an out-the-window, augmented viewing system for Air Force air traffic control tower personnel to reduce look-down time within the tower to optimize visual airfield operations, particularly during limited visibility conditions. In Phase I: we characterized controller tasks where a near-to-eye display greatly aids performance and identified form factor variables that influence user acceptability of hardware configurations. We developed an “out-the-window concept of operation” and analyzed the feasibility of three near-to-eye viewing systems. In Phase II, we will develop and evaluate prototype variants of a Held-to-Head Binocular Display (HHBD) and two different Head-Mounted Monocular Displays (HMMDs). Near-to-eye text/symbology displays will be presented with real-time, head-tracked video imagery taken from infrared or low-light cameras. We will integrate critical elements of console information into a data presentation on the display that enhances tower operator performance and situation awareness in every facet of required duties. Prototype designs composed of an HHBD and HMMD used separately or together, will provide effective options for tower controllers to enhance safety and performance in most operational environments and tasks. “Form factor” issues will be evaluated to determine best solutions for hardware designs and functional requirements in candidate systems.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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