F-35 Augmented Reality Helmet May Finally Reach Pilots, Thanks to Fixes
May 9, 2012 9:20 AM
F-35 helmet Venlet wants
Fancy helmet suffered from video lag and jitter that rendered it essentially useless
The problems that plagued the F-35 since the program started aren't limited to issues directly with the aircraft alone. There have also been
with the high-tech helmet that the F-35 was originally intended to use. The idea for the F-35's high-tech and futuristic looking helmet was to be able to display all the data the pilot needed on the helmet's visor so the pilot could remain focused on the environment.
That high-tech helmet never made it into testing alongside the F-35 aircraft due to issues that made the helmet unusable. The helmet was originally intended to feature a virtual heads up display, video display to show camera feeds from around the aircraft, and an opto-magnetic tracker. The helmet was also originally designed to send the pilot feeds from night vision cameras mounted around the aircraft to keep the pilot from having to wear night vision goggles.
The video feeds that the camera displays for the pilot were crippled with lag and video jitter issues. Vice Admiral David Venlet is now saying a fix for the helmet issues is in the works right now. Venlet said that a "micro-inertial measurement unit" is expected to be the fix for the video jitter issue while "signal processing changes in software and architecture" could fix the video lag issues.
Venlet said, "What I am focused on is seeing he demonstration of those fixes working and being effective. That will be paced out through the remainder of this year and into 2013."
Pilots of the F-35 were supposed to receive a new high-tech helmet, complete with video feeds and a heads up display a la
. Issues nearly scrapped the design, but fixes are now planned to try to revive it. [Image Source: Marvel Studios]
Another helmet fix for issues the helmet has had with acuity and night vision includes improvements to one of the cameras installed on the helmet. The camera improvement expected to fix those two issues. Once the fixes are applied, they will be demonstrated through flight tests or in a laboratory setting according to Venlet.
Until the issues can be worked out with the intended F-35 helmet, an
was selected that is constructed by BAE Systems. “I’m not going to let go of that alternate until I’ve got demonstrated performance of the one I really want,” Venlet said.
"Google fired a shot heard 'round the world, and now a second American company has answered the call to defend the rights of the Chinese people." -- Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.)
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