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Virtual reality headsets as external vision displays for helicopter operations: the potential of an exocentric viewpoint

Ernst, Johannes M. and Ebrecht, Lars and Schmerwitz, Sven (2019) Virtual reality headsets as external vision displays for helicopter operations: the potential of an exocentric viewpoint. In: Proceedings of SPIE. SPIE Press. SPIE Defense + Commercial Sensing 2019, 14.-18. Apr. 2019, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

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Head-worn displays (HWDs) and aircraft-mounted sensors are common means to support helicopter pilots who operate in degraded visual environment. The use of see-through HWDs is beneficial in brownout and adverse weather conditions because these displays can visualize occluded real world features like the horizon, nearby obstacles, or the desired landing spot. The German Aerospace Center (DLR) investigates an enhanced vision concept called "Virtual Cockpit". Instead of a see-through display, an immersive HWD is used to give helicopter pilots an enhanced out-the-window view. As shown in previous publications, the virtual reality (VR) technology creates benefits for several applications. This contribution explores the advantages and limitations of displaying an exocentric perspective view on the VR glasses. Moving the pilot's eye point out of the cockpit to a viewpoint behind and above the aircraft, appears to be especially useful in situations where the pilot's natural view is degraded by the own aircraft structure. Moreover, it is beneficial for certain maneuvers, in which the real location of the pilot's eye is not optimal for capturing the whole situation. The paper presents results from a simulator study with 8 participants, in which the developed symbology was tested in confined area hover and landing scenarios. The 3D exocentric perspective views increased spatial awareness in the tested scenarios and significantly reduced the required head motion. Further research is needed regarding the attitude awareness with such displays. Apart from helicopter operations, the results may also be relevant for remote piloting solutions and for other types of vehicles with restricted external vision.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/122038/
Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Title:Virtual reality headsets as external vision displays for helicopter operations: the potential of an exocentric viewpoint
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Ernst, Johannes M.johannes.ernst (at) dlr.dehttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-8238-3671
Ebrecht, LarsLars.Ebrecht (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Schmerwitz, Svensven.schmerwitz (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Journal or Publication Title:Proceedings of SPIE
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Sanders-Reed, JackUNSPECIFIED
Arthur, Jarvis J.UNSPECIFIED
Publisher:SPIE Press
Series Name:Proceedings of SPIE
Keywords:Virtual Reality, Virtual Cockpit, Head-Worn Display, Helmet-Mounted Display, Synthetic and Enhanced Vision, Helicopter Operations, Human Machine Interface
Event Title:SPIE Defense + Commercial Sensing 2019
Event Location:Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Event Type:international Conference
Event Dates:14.-18. Apr. 2019
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Aeronautics
HGF - Program Themes:rotorcraft
DLR - Research area:Aeronautics
DLR - Program:L RR - Rotorcraft Research
DLR - Research theme (Project):L - The Smart Rotorcraft
Location: Braunschweig
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Flight Guidance > Pilot Assistance
Deposited By: Ernst, Johannes Maria
Deposited On:14 Nov 2019 08:56
Last Modified:21 Nov 2019 09:41

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