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.: N082-146-0300
Firm: Diamond Visionics LLC
400 Plaza Drive, Suite-A
Vestal, New York 13850-3649
Contact: James Pendrys
Phone: (607) 729-8526
Web Site:
Abstract: At present, multi-viewer cockpit displays that provide accurate collimation and consistency of other display characteristics, such as intensity and tint, require expensive projection systems. The capability to accomplishing these functions with PC based software would provide both reduced cost and flexibility. Not only would less expensive projectors be required, such software executed on a PC using a GPU would be able to be tuned to any selected projection systems. The sophistication of GPU based graphics on PCs permits modification of the image input to the projection system such that images by multiple projectors can be made to be collimated, have equal intensity, have equal tint, and in general, proved a seamless combined image. DVC has five years of experience using GPU based software for image generation. This experience will permit DVC to develop software for the control of cross-cockpit displays that permit a seamless display with multiple projectors. In addition, nonlinear optimization techniques provide the capability to obtain both collimation and consistency of color and intensity across the entire scene automatically, that is, rapidly and without human intervention. These optimization methods are well known in both the mathematical and engineering communities
Benefits: Flight simulators often require more than one display channel to provide a realistic view of the scene from the cockpit. These cockpit displays must be collimated so as to provide continuity of the image at the boundaries of the projected images of each display. Ideally, there should be no seam at the borders between the displays and the color and contrast should be such that it is not possible to discern that the total cockpit display results from multiple channels (displays). Traditionally, the collimation and consistency of the displayed cockpit channels is accomplished with manual controls provided by the manufacturer of the projectors. But projection systems that provide adequate controls may be quite expensive. This is particularly the case with LCD projection systems because they do not have sub-pixel controls. Furthermore, fixed-matrix displays cannot perform geometric corrections without introducing unwanted artifacts or reducing image quality. Considerable cost savings can be achieved if it is possible to control geometric alignment and image consistency, such as contrast and tint, by altering the generated image itself, rather than using the projection system. DVC proposes the use of GPU-based shaders to provide PC based collimation of low cost projection systems. The proposed solution will also permit the PC graphics to control such display characteristics as intensity and tint. This solution will provide a low cost alternative to high priced projection systems. The use of nonlinear optimization methods to provide automatic collimation of scenes generated with multiple projection systems will relieve the user of the burden of tedious manual collimation. The increased precision of the automated solution will provide seamless images more rapidly to the total cockpit display.