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Virtual Cockpit Instruments - How Head-Worn Displays Can Enhance the Obstacle Awareness of Helicopter Pilots

Ernst, Johannes Maria and Ebrecht, Lars and Korn, Bernd (2021) Virtual Cockpit Instruments - How Head-Worn Displays Can Enhance the Obstacle Awareness of Helicopter Pilots. IEEE Aerospace and Electronic Systems Magazine, 36 (4), pp. 18-34. IEEE - Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. doi: 10.1109/MAES.2021.3052304. ISSN 0885-8985.

[img] PDF - Postprint version (accepted manuscript)

Official URL: https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/9397798


The rise of augmented reality glasses and related technologies offers new possibilities for the human-machine interface design of future aircraft. Today, head-worn displays (HWDs) are mainly used by military pilots, for instance by helicopter crews for low-visibility operations close to ground and obstacles. Nevertheless, recent technological advances in this area allow the prediction that these systems could become available for more pilots in the future. This article presents a concept how state-of-the-art HWD symbology can be expanded to get even more out of the advantages of this technology. With so-called "virtual cockpit instruments" (VCIs), an HWD can show information, which is conventionally rendered on panel-mounted displays. These VCIs can be imagined as virtual display screens, which can be positioned freely around the pilot. Their major benefit is that they create many new options for the design of a flexible, situation-adaptive cockpit environment. This article introduces the general concept and presents several options how such an approach can be put into practice. Here, the concept is applied to helicopter operations in offshore windparks. We implemented a VCI-adapted obstacle awareness display and assessed a set of positioning variants for the new VCI. Two simulator studies -- with 11 and 7 participants -- provide interesting insights on the realization of this concept. In addition to high subjective ratings, the VCI significantly increased the pilot's head-up, eyes-out time -- an important measure for challenging maneuvers close to obstacles. Overall, this article illustrates a promising concept for the human-machine interface design of future cockpits and discusses its potentials and limitations.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/141705/
Document Type:Article
Title:Virtual Cockpit Instruments - How Head-Worn Displays Can Enhance the Obstacle Awareness of Helicopter Pilots
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Ernst, Johannes MariaUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-8238-3671UNSPECIFIED
Ebrecht, LarsUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-8077-7391UNSPECIFIED
Korn, BerndUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-3598-8971UNSPECIFIED
Date:April 2021
Journal or Publication Title:IEEE Aerospace and Electronic Systems Magazine
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Page Range:pp. 18-34
Publisher:IEEE - Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Keywords:head-mounted displays, augmented reality, helicopter operations, human-machine interface, flight guidance displays, helmet-mounted displays
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Aeronautics
HGF - Program Themes:Air Transportation and Impact
DLR - Research area:Aeronautics
DLR - Program:L AI - Air Transportation and Impact
DLR - Research theme (Project):L - Integrated Flight Guidance
Location: Braunschweig
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Flight Guidance > Pilot Assistance
Deposited By: Ernst, Johannes Maria
Deposited On:14 Apr 2021 11:44
Last Modified:23 Oct 2023 09:26

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