BAE Systems two-part Striker helmet product family is a mature fully integrated helmet mounted display in volume production and used on multiple fixed wing and rotary wing platforms worldwide. The Striker system on Typhoon and Gripen provides a high accuracy off bore sight weapon cueing capability to the fast jet users in eight nations. The advanced all digital rotary wing variant of the Striker HMD is a dedicated helicopter variant which has already been extensively flight tested in U.S., UK, and European platforms. This visor-projected HMD is a mature, advanced integrated display helmet that has been specifically designed for high capability military HMD applications but also has a wider dual use capability in specialist non-military applications. The underlying two-part integrated helmet concept is also a mature design already in wide spread operational use. The combination of these features has enabled the core Striker HMD design concept to be enhanced to meet the demand of both 5th Generation fixed wing platforms and enhanced capabilities for future military and civil rotary wing applications.
There has been an explosion of interest in head worn displays in recent years, particularly for consumer applications with an attendant ramping up of investment into key enabling technologies to provide what is essence a mobile computer display. However, head mounted system have been around for over 40 years and today’s consumer products are building on a legacy of knowledge and technology created by companies such as BAE Systems who have been designing and fielding helmet mounted displays (HMD) for a wide range of specialist applications. Although the dominant application area has been military aviation, solutions have been fielded for solider, ground vehicle, simulation, medical, racing car and even subsea navigation applications. What sets these HMDs apart is that they provide the user with accurate conformal information embedded in the users real world view where the information presented is intuitive and easy to use because it overlays the real world and enables them to stay head up, eyes out, - improving their effectiveness, reducing workload and improving safety. Such systems are an enabling technology in the provision of enhanced Situation Awareness (SA) and reducing user workload in high intensity situations. These capabilities are finding much wider application in new types of compact man mounted audio/visual products enabled by the emergence of new families of micro displays, novel optical concepts and ultra-compact low power processing solutions. This paper therefore provides a personal summary of BAE Systems 40 year’s journey in developing and fielding Head Mounted systems, their applications.
There are a host of helmet and head mounted displays, flooding the market place with displays which provide what is
essentially a mobile computer display. What sets aviators HMDs apart is that they provide the user with accurate
conformal information embedded in the pilots real world view (see through display) where the information presented is
intuitive and easy to use because it overlays the real world (mix of sensor imagery, symbolic information and synthetic
imagery) and enables them to stay head up, eyes out, - improving their effectiveness, reducing workload and improving
Such systems are an enabling technology in the provision of enhanced Situation Awareness (SA) and reducing user
workload in high intensity situations. Safety Is Key; so the addition of these HMD functions cannot detract from the
aircrew protection functions of conventional aircrew helmets which also include life support and audio
These capabilities are finding much wider application in new types of compact man mounted audio/visual products
enabled by the emergence of new families of micro displays, novel optical concepts and ultra-compact low power
processing solutions. This papers attempts to capture the key drivers and needs for future head mounted systems for
Applying optical waveguide technology to head mounted display (HMD) solutions has the key goal of providing the
user with improved tactical situational awareness by providing information and imagery in an easy to use form which
also maintains compatibility with current night vision devices and also enables the integration of future night vision
devices. The benefits of waveguide technology in HMDs have seen a number of alternative waveguide display
technologies and configurations emerge for Head mounted Display applications. BAE System's presented one such
technology in 2009  and this is now in production for a range of Helmet Mounted Display products.
This paper outlines the key design drivers for aviators Helmet Mounted Displays, provides an update of holographic
Optical Waveguide Technology and its maturation into compact, lightweight Helmet Mounted Displays products for
aviation and non-aviation applications. Waveguide displays have proved too be a radical enabling technology which
allows higher performance display devices solutions to be created in a revolutionary way. It has also provided the user
with see through daylight readable displays, offering the combination of very large eye box and excellent real world
transmission in a compact format.
Holographic Optical Waveguide is an optical technology which reduces size and mass whilst liberating the designer
from many of the constraints inherent in conventional optical solutions. This technology is basically a way of moving
light without the need for a complex arrangement of conventional lenses.
BAE Systems has exploited this technology in the Q-SightTM family of scalable Helmet Mounted Displays; allowing the
addition of capability as it is required in a flexible, low-cost way The basic monocular Q-SightTM architecture has been
extended to offer wide field of view, monochrome and full colour HMD solution for rotary wing, fast jet and solider
system applications. In its basic form Q-SightTM now offers plug-and-play solutions into any cockpit with either
Analogue (stroke) or Digital Video Interface (DVI) connections. This offers a significant upgrade opportunity to those
users currently struggling with cumbersome legacy CRT using conventional glass optical lenses.
This paper outlines an approach to simulate and validate the attenuation performance of Integrated Helmet Display
designs within BAE Systems. The validation studies are performed at material coupon, sub-system and system levels of
Display and Helmet designs to facilitate integrated Display Helmet model development and allow a rigorous assessment
of model accuracy. Simulation results are presented which show close agreement with the shape of the acceleration
history and peak acceleration values obtained in laboratory scale qualification tests conducted at the British Standards
Institute (BSI). The final system level model provides a detailed insight into the key characteristics which effect
attenuation performance in Integrated Display Helmet designs.
The overall aim of this work is to develop and validate models which can be used to assess the influence of design
modifications on current and future Display Helmet products within BAE Systems. The application of simulation for
product development is regarded as a key driver within BAE Systems to reducing the development cost of Helmet
Mounted Display (HMD) products and improving product performance.
Traditionally head up displays and helmet mounted displays use a conventional arrangement of complex lenses to
generate a display for the pilot from an image source such as a Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) or Liquid Crystal Display
(LCD). These systems tend to be complex, comprising many components and they also add mass and adversely
modify the centre of the gravity of the helmet.
This has resulted in the development of the Holographic Optical Waveguide, a revolutionary new optical technology
which dramatically reduces size and mass whilst liberating the designer from many of the constraints inherent in
conventional optical solutions. This technology is basically a way of moving light without the need for a complex
arrangement of conventional lenses.
This is made possible by embedding within the substrate a specially designed hologram which has carefully tailored set
of optical properties. The image (or light waves) is constrained to follow a path through the substrate. As these waves
pass through the substrate the hologram is programmed to allow some energy to escape in a carefully controlled manner
reforming the image that was injected into the substrate. At the same time the hologram design modifies the image
geometry such that the user views it as a full size conformal image precisely overlaid on his outside world view.
Furthermore this image is maintained over a very large exit-pupil giving the user great flexibility in the installation of
the display onto a helmet. The image is formed conventionally from a reflective LCD illuminated with a high
The Q-SightTM Helmet Mounted Display (HMD) which exploits this concept is part of a modular-family of Helmet
Mounted Displays; allowing the addition of capability as required in a flexible, low-cost way. The basic monocular QSightTM
architecture offers plug-and-play solutions into any cockpit with either Analog (stroke) or Digital Video
Interface (DVI) connections. This offers a significant upgrade opportunity to those users currently struggling with
cumbersome legacy CRT using conventional glass optical lenses.
Q-SightTM is configured to fit onto any aircrew
helmet in service today, the large eye motion box permitting flexible installation onto loose fitting helmets.
The Q-SightTM approach results in design solutions which are fully compatible with all in-service Night Vision Googles
(NVGs) and does not require any adaptation to the NVG or its mounting bracket. This approach has distinct advantages
that at night the user gets unimpaired Night Vision performance with very high quality symbology.
Helmet Mounted Sights providing basic off boresight designation/cueing capability and they represent the `entry point' for head mounted displays. When coupled to a missile with high off-boresight designation capability, such a system offers major benefits in the `within visual range' air combat environment. Such a system can also be used to `point' other sensors such as the radar or a targeting pod so that despite the modest display capability, even this simple system greatly enhances the lethality of the aircraft.
The BAE SYSTEMS Knighthelm HMD is a unique two-part helmet design, using a form fitted inner helmet with an outer display module. It has been refined and enhanced, as part of an extensive development program, for the German Army Tiger helicopter, and is optimized for the attack helicopter application. The design optically mixes the output of an Image Intensifier Tube with Cathode Ray Tube imagery. This provides a flexible display of symbology overlaid on NVG imagery or symbology overlaid on FLIR video viewed as a collimated image in the see through combiner eyepiece in front of the users eyes.
BAE SYSTEMS are developing a high performance Helmet Mounted Display system for the Eurofighter/Typhoon combat aircraft. This paper presents an overview of the design solutions, as well as details of the development program status. Finally, it gives some indicators as to future growth applications.
BAE SYSTEMS are developing a high performance Helmet Mounted Display system for the US Marine corps AH-1Z attack helicopter. This paper presents an overview of the design solution, as well as details of the rational behind the design and some of the lesson learnt. Finally, it gives some indicators as to future growth.
The VISTA/NV-16D is currently the newest in-flight simulator in the USAF inventory. This unique research aircraft will be fitted with the GEC-Marconi Avionics Programmable Display System. This equipment provides the capability to rapidly develop display concepts on both helmet-mounted display and head up displays in a dynamic flight test environment. The equipment provided includes an enhanced Viper II Helmet Mounted Display fitted to the HGU-86/P helmet. Display drive is provided by a very capable graphics generation system which also provides display drive to the standard F-16 Head Up Display. The system provides real time reprogrammable stroke and stroke on raster symbology on the HUD and on the HMD. The system is initially configured with monocular Stroke only HMD drive, but growth to dual HMD, stroke on video and binocular HMDs is available. The Honeywell Advanced Metal Tolerant Helmet Tracker System is integrated within the HMD Programmable Display System providing very accurate helmet orientation information to the graphics generator which is used for the display of space stabilized symbology when required. A fail safe backup display generator provides reversionary display on the HUD. This paper provides a detailed description of this equipment and also address some of the design techniques involved in developing this high performance system.
Helmet mounted displays are now widely accepted as an essential component of any head coupled night vision system and due to enter service on several rotary wing and fast jet aircraft. The technologies and human factors issues involved in the design and manufacture of HMDs are now reaching maturity. However the operational effectiveness of HMDs is greatly influenced by the design of the HMD system as a whole. This paper presents a discussion of HMD system design issues, covering the design of HMDs for both night and day applications, system architectures and helmet tracker subsystems. The paper then presents an overview of an HMD system which provides both night and day operational capability as part of a head coupled system.
In parallel with the development of Helmet Mounted Displays, significant development work has been focused on systems to track and accurately measure the orientation and position of aircrew helmets within the cockpit of military aircraft (fixed and rotary wing). Such systems have wide application in both the commercial and military environments. Two different types of Helmet Tracker Systems are discussed both of which have been selected for major European aircraft programs, one for fast jet and one for rotary wing. The fast jet system utilizes optical techniques and the rotary wing system is electromagnetic. The development of one system is traced from initial concept, through prototype system development and flight test, and how the lessons learned have now been applied to the production system configuration. The paper also provides a review of the basic design requirements that are peculiar to each system.
Helmet mounted displays have a significant role to play in a number of military airborne applications. Many concepts have been built and tested over the past 20 years, but very few have been adopted for extensive use in the demanding environment found in typical military aircraft cockpits. Of the many types of display configurations tried, display projection off the visor is, from the users point of view, the preferred method of presentation and several development products of this type are now available. GEC-Marconi Avionics 'VIPER' is an approach to this particular helmet mounted display configuration, and was conceived with the objective of using well proven techniques, technologies and where possible standard flight equipment. This paper discusses the design approach, trade offs and initial flight trials experience with the Viper Helmet Mounted Display.
Helmet mounted displays optimized for night flying are now available from several manufacturers as are HMDs optimized for day applications. In general day and night operations require HMDs with different attributes. However, many mission scenarios require the HMD to be used in both day and night conditions in the course of a single mission and therefore require the HMD to provide a 24 hour capability. This paper describes designs solution for 24 hour HMDs for both fixed wing and rotary wing applications, using current state of the art technology.
Conventional 'straightthrough ' nightvision goggles are now in widespread service with many armed forces throughout
the world. Though originally designed for ground forces they have been successfully engineered into the airborne environment
and are used on both rotary wing and fixed wing aircraft. However, a major disadvantage in the use of this type
of NVG, particularly in fast jet applications, is that they obscure the pilots direct view of the Head Up Display.
The combiner eyepiece NVGs solves this problem by giving the pilot a direct view of the HUD and cockpit instruments
which is optically combined with the intensified image. The cockpit instruments and HUD are ofcourse compatible with
the NVG and are invisible to the NVG.
The development ofa Combiner eyepiece NVG from initial concept through to production isdiscussed including design
considerations, trade offs and enhancements to the operation of the device. The further development of the combiner
eyepiece NVG into a fully integrated ejection safe night vision helmet is also described.