Small aircraft and helicopters have an increasing need for heads out presentations, which means a projected presentation of symbols and images, primarily infrared, on an optical combiner in the pilots field of view. The information presented will appear at an infinite distance i.e. the focal point is far away enabling the pilot to see the symbology superimposed on and correlated to the outside world. The driving factors for a heads out presentations are increased safety through improved situation awareness in almost all weather conditions as well as operational improvements due to reduced landing minimal prerequisites in adverse weather conditions. Also safety during taxiing and landing are improved through early detection of eventual other aircraft and objects. The landing aid is important for small aircraft like business jets that often fly into unequipped airfields. The overall benefits are reduction in number of incidents/accidents, cost savings and reduced number of diversions.
Use of airborne high resolution digital sensor imagery is ever increasing. Color HDTV, infrared cameras and radar are examples of such sensors. And they are becoming increasingly used for mission purposes by the military, police, customs and coast guard onboard helicopters and fixed wing aircraft. These users have requirements for onboard presentation, analysis and storage. Use of weather radars and other similar types of sensors are flight oriented applications in major types of aircraft. Another application is the integration of cockpit and cabin surveillance systems onboard commercial airlines. Cabin surveillance systems, growing from cockpit door cameras to complete cabin surveillance, will use several cameras. The purpose is to acquire and store imagery from un-normal events including unruly passengers and eventual terrorists. The primary intentions are security awareness in the cockpit as well as collecting evidence for a potential prosecution.