Flat panel technology, specifically liquid crystal flat panel technology, has made tremendous progress in the past few years and is now poised to challenge the CRT in avionic applications. The operating principles and electro-optic characteristics of active-matrix-addressed liquid crystal displays are discussed in this paper. Issues related to performance in the demanding cockpit environment are also presented. Operating characteristics of a 1024 × 1024 color LCD is shown.
AS THE AMOUNT OF INFORMATION to be processed in modern aircraft cockpits increases, so does the need for better and better display media. A slow but steady transition from analog electromechanical gauges to cathode ray tubes (CRT) is being made. While CRTs, both monochrome and color, offer significant advances in the presentation of information, they do suffer from several drawbacks including high power, weight, and volume, reduced visibility in high ambient, and low reliability compared to their electromechanical counterpart. Active-matrix-addressed liquid crystal displays (LCDs), an emerging technology which is challenging the venerable CRT in many markets, are now ready to challenge the CRT in the demanding cockpit environment - both commercial and military. These flat display offer the exciting potential of lower power, volume, and weight, sunlight readability, and high reliability.
In this paper, the basic concepts behind active-matrix-addressed LCDs are described, followed by a review of the state-of-the-art in this technology. Issues related to the application to the cockpit are then detailed; in particular, operating characteristics of GE's 6.25 × 6.25-inch, color active-matrix-addressed LCD, which is being developed for the commercial and military markets, is presented.