Cross-Cockpit Collimated Displays for Flight Simulation
Navy SBIR FY2008.2

Sol No.: Navy SBIR FY2008.2
Topic No.: N08-146
Topic Title: Cross-Cockpit Collimated Displays for Flight Simulation
Proposal No.: N082-146-0486
Firm: Q4 Services LLC
1410 N Goldenroad Road
Suite 1
Orlando, Florida 32807
Contact: Mike Ponder
Phone: (407) 382-4000
Web Site:
Abstract: Current simulator cross-cockpit displays offering large field of view, multi-viewer (two or more), collimated displays are expensive and have a number of performance and viewing deficiencies such as irregular geometry, heavy weight, high cost and finally poor vergence and collimation. Some of these problems become apparent in a number of ways such as difficulties in maintenance setup caused by irregularities in the display and color drop off and sometimes even motion sickness and pilot headaches. The optical properties of present day systems work on the `assumption` that the mirror is perfectly spherical when we know that this is not the case. Working on this erroneous assumption,the shape and size of the back projection screen is calculated. When these two major components ( mirror and back projection screen) are brought together to form the complete optical system the anomalies in the curvature of the mirror become evident in the display by way of edge compression and other visual distortions. Poor system performance can have a detrimental impact on training as is termed `negative training' as it destroys the `illusion' that the training provider is attempting to generate by reminding the pilot that it is `only pretend'.
Benefits: By accurately measuring and controlling the shape of the mirror we will, for the first time, be able to offer the user A fully optimized system rather than the current approach that relies upon `assumptions of mirror accuracy'. 2 Back Projection (BP) screen to improve image quality with BP's built to match the capabilities of improved mirror ( see point 1 above) and new technology projectors. It is proposed that a display system be developed that incorporates a new development back projection screen that will be developed with high brightness fixed matrix COTS projectors as its baseline display engine. By providing a back projection screen optimized for these projectors, we propose to demonstrate high brightness and high contrast with minimized losses due to cross illumination and back scatter. 3 Improvements in lens, iris and automatic image warping and color blending to allow the widespread use of low cost projectors to improve image quality and reduce maintenance requirements and therefore costs. With the integration of COTS lens' and flexible iris' that are now more available through the expansion of the home theater market we intend to show that the standard COTS projectors can be mated to these `external' enhancements to provide projectors high end anti smearing and superior black level performance, and bring the benefits of COTS projectors to the high end simulation fast jet and NVG users. The desire to develop these facilities as external or `add-ons' to the COTS projectors will allow the use of a range of projector solutions and also allow an easy technology insertion program in the coming years while ensuring that the removal of a projector from the market place will not require a complete system replacement program. The iris and lens will remain with the simulator and only the projection engine behind the lens and iris need be changed. This approach will have a significant effect in the reduction of initial purchase cost of these displays and also the follow on logistic support costs. 4 Manufacture and installation improvements to reduce costs and lead time. Despite the reduction in the cost of image generators and projectors, the cost of visual systems remains out of reach for many training applications due to the high cost of the optical portion of the visual system. There is a clear need to reduce the cost of building `and' delivering the collimating mirror and projection screens. The new system must therefore be developed in such as way as to facilitate a flexible installation and delivery approach while increasing the quality and performance of the system.