Through Screen Optical Head Tracker

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Defense
Branch
Air Force
Amount:
$749,995.00
Award Year:
2004
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase II
Contract:
FA8650-04-C-6452
Award Id:
62286
Agency Tracking Number:
F031-3666
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
n/a
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
107 CATAMOUNT DRIVE, MILTON, VT, 05468
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
157330291
Principal Investigator:
Don Odell
(802) 893-6657
dodell@ascension-tech.com
Business Contact:
Jack Scully
(802) 893-6657
jscully@ascension-tech.com
Research Institute:
n/a
Abstract
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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