Automated Measurement/Alignment of Immersive Visual Displays
SBIR FY03.2 Topic N03-180
Department of Defense (DOD)/NAVY
The entire solicitation may be viewed at http://www.acq.osd.mil/sadbu/sbir/solicitations/sbir032/index.htm
N03-180 TITLE: Automated Measurement/Alignment of Immersive Visual Displays
TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Information Systems, Materials/Processes
ACQUISITION PROGRAM: ACAT I: Joint Strike Figher
OBJECTIVE: Automate testing of immersive visual systems using state-of-the-art technology. Provide measurement feedback to the display system and create an automated self-alignment/calibration interactive process.
DESCRIPTION: Extensive testing of very large field of view (FOV) displays used in training simulators is required in order to achieve full fidelity capability from the display system as well as to verify that performance is in compliance with requirements. This includes visual measurements in hundreds of directions especially across adjacent channel boundaries where quality is almost never ideal. Automated testing will result in more comprehensive testing and therefore better display systems. Time consuming testing of systems is performed on site to verify compliance throughout the FOV and throughout the viewing volume. However, automated test equipment is not available to quickly perform the many measurements for collimated and wide FOV immersive visual displays. A test instrument is required that systematically measures several parameters in precisely known directions throughout the FOV and from known locations within the viewing volume. The data must be automatically recorded and converted to meaningful plots. Also the device must be able to compute numerous specification parameters based on readings of various displayed test images. Topographical style aitoff plots (or equivalent) of numerous parameters is required including luminance, FOV, night scene black level, day scene brightness level contrast, resolution (horizontal, vertical, diagonal as well as spot size), color convergence, sub-regional luminance blemishes, absolute geometric distortion, and relative geometric distortion. Special attention will be paid to measuring parameters across blending regions between two channels. Additional desired parameters include color saturation, flicker, proportional levels of brightness, divergence, collimation, and accommodation. As an example of the type of tester possible, commercial off the shelf (COTS) components such as a photometric camera mounted on a displacement table mounted on an amateur telescope drive could be integrated with appropriate software written.
An automated method to adjust the display system based on interactive feedback from the test instrument is also required in order to obtain maximum fidelity possible from the display system. The automated alignment/calibration process needs to be performed at acceptance testing of new immersive display systems, after projectors or lamps are replaced, during routine scheduled maintenance in order to maintain the simulated system at optimum performance.
PHASE I: Demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed system to identify parameters to be measured/computed; analyze system performance, including user friendliness and time to perform measurements; establish level of accuracy; evaluate software and integration requirements; identify interface issues; and define plots to be generated based on interactions with the government.
PHASE II: Develop a fully functional prototype and perform an automated alignment/calibration of an actual training simulator using the tester.
PHASE III: Incorporate into the training simulator program used during Phase II. Transition to COTS tester and to automated calibration tool/component usable by any immersive display system.
PRIVATE SECTOR COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL: Testing all electro-optical display systems. Testing large FOV display systems and all collimated display systems especially commercial flight trainers. System can be incorporated into an automated calibrating/aligning display system. System can be used as a front end visual receiver/interpreter for an automated self calibrating display system which make adjustments to gamma, geometric distortions, etc. System can be adapted to become a recording instrument of high-resolution hemispheric FOV immersive images with laser distance ranging (required for database creation). Follow on designs include a Helmet Mounted Display tester using identical software and similar techniques.
KEYWORDS: Test; Measurement; Visual; Display; Training; Simulator
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