3D collimated displays in flight simulators

​​​​​ Collimated displays provide continuous, high-brightness, high-resolution imagery to a flight crew over the required field-of-view (FOV), making these displays ideal for training tanker and transport aircrews. Collimation is designed for cross-cockpit viewing, allowing a pilot and co-pilot to achieve maximum training benefit simultaneously.

Out the window (OTW) imagery of the outside world is visible to both pilots, with large, unobstructed horizontal and vertical FOVs. The display is generally designed so that crew members sit side-by-side, each viewing the same imagery from their own visual perspective without angular errors or distortions.

Cross-cockpit collimated display design

Collimated optics are used in simulator visual display systems, allowing imagery to be seen in a mirror which has a vertical curvature. This enables the image to be seen at a simulated distance by both pilots.

If the OTW imagery was to be projected on a simple projection screen instead of a collimated display, one pilot would see the correct view, but the other would see a view where some objects in the scene would be at incorrect angles. This effect would impact the ability of the pilots to work together as a team in the cockpit, responding to the OTW visuals.

Benefits of stereoscopy - improved training

Collimated, stereoscopic displays can provide significantly improved training, specifically for training tasks that involve dual-view perspectives, expensive equipment and costly air-time.

Both 3D and collimation together adds a tremendous sense of realism to a simulated training task.

When both stereopsis and collimation are combined for simulation, the user perceives the most realistic OTW display possible in a simulation environment. Natural eye focus (from collimation) is combined with convergence and correct parallax perspective views. Depending on the content, there could also be a perception of increased resolution because of sub-pixel information that is possible to perceive due to binocular vision.

The potential for direct cost savings is high. Scheduling costly equipment for non-operational training tasks, along with a trainer’s time, is expensive. The availability of effective, ground-based trainers could create more training opportunities and reduce training completion times.

Christie advantage

The high-fidelity stereoscopic visuals of the Christie® Mirage WQ-L, combined with collimation, enable true-to-life, depth-specific training with infinite focus. Your eyes don’t have to change focus – objects and scenarios, such as the following, are represented as ‘real life’, with realistic, accurate depth cues that improve performance and task recognition: in-flight refueling, helicopter pilot training, carrier landings, crane simulators, helicopter gun port trainers, and search and rescue.

Christie’s full line of Mirage series DLP® stereoscopic projectors offer true, 120Hz, full-resolution update rates on WU, WQ  and 4K resolution. As well, the Mirage series supports dual-input 3D and can accommodate any simulation image generator with no development work required to drive the projection system.

Learn more – download the IMAGE 2012 paper by Dr. Charles Lloyd on “Effects of (3D) Stereopsis, Collimation, and Head Tracking o​n Air Refueling Boom Operator Performance”