Through Screen Optical Head Tracker

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8650-04-C-6452
Agency Tracking Number: F031-3666
Amount: $749,995.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2004
Solicitation Year: 2003
Solicitation Topic Code: AF03-059
Solicitation Number: 2003.1
Small Business Information
DUNS: 157330291
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Don Odell
 (802) 893-6657
Business Contact
 Jack Scully
Phone: (802) 893-6657
Research Institution
A critical military requirement exists for a fast, cost-effective, six-degrees-of-freedom (6DOF) technology that can track a pilot's helmet though rear-projection screens and is immune to distortion and interference from scatterers of magnetic/electrical energy. Building upon Phase I research that demonstrated feasibility of projecting light energy through graphics projection screens, Ascension Technology will, in Phase II, develop a prototype model of its next-generation, solid state optical tracking system. Upon completion, we will demonstrate system-level capability to accurately track head motion without the placement of emitters of light energy within the cockpit. The design will be sufficiently robust for test and evaluation in simulators with wrap-around displays utilizing rear-screen projections. We will also address key development issues: compatibility with simulated helmet-mounted NVG goggles, laser safety, and optimal tracking coverage. In addition to applicability in training simulators, the tracking device will have high value in tactical aircraft, tanks, and combat air operations centers. Design features will enable it to exceed static accuracy, dynamic performance and repeatability of the best magnetic trackers while eliminating the need for costly alignment/mapping hardware and frequent maintenance. It will further overcome inherent limitations of optical trackers including bulky, obstructive emitters and lens-based cameras that interfere with human motion, field of view, cockpit layout, and ingress/egress. The private sector will profit in that the technology can be scaled for high volume commercial uses in real-time visualization, medical imaging, virtual reality and augmented reality. Correspondingly the military will benefit from amortizing capital equipment costs across a much larger volume of production than its applications alone can sustain.

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

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