Enhanced/Synthetic Vision Systems for Search and Rescue Operations 1999-01-5659
The Enhanced/Synthetic Vision System (E/SVS) is a Technology Demonstrator (TD) project supported by the Chief, Research and Development of the Canadian Department of National Defence. E/SVS displays an augmented visual scene to the pilot that includes three separate image sources: a synthetic computer - generated terrain image; an enhanced visual image from an electro-optical sensor (fused as an inset); and aircraft instrument symbology, all displayed to the pilot on a Helmet Mounted Display (HMD). The synthetic component of the system provides a 40 degree vertical by 80 degree horizontal image of terrain and local features. The enhanced component digitizes imagery from electro-optic sensors and fuses the sensor image as an inset (20 degrees by 25 degrees) within the synthetic image. Symbology can be overlaid in any location within the synthetic field-of-view and may be head, aircraft, target or terrain referenced. Active sensor (laser or radar) data will be fused with the synthetic database in real time to update the synthetic image content. To establish system performance as well as human interface requirements, the program has been supported by an extensive series of human-in-the-loop studies in university, company and government laboratories. A brief summary of some of the experimental results is included herein. At this time most of the hardware components of the system have been developed/acquired and much of the software and databases are near completion. The HMD, sensor servo platform, sensor digitizing system and a version of the laser sensor have been flight tested in the National Research Council (NRC) of Canada fly-by-wire research helicopter (based upon a Bell 205 platform). The fully integrated E/SVS Technology Demonstrator, designated E/SVS-2000, will fly in autumn of the year 2000.