Army orders Helmet Tracking System from InterSense

BEDFORD, Mass., 4 March 2005. InterSense Inc. was recently awarded a follow-on Phase II SBIR contract by the US Army Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM) titled "Cockpit Helmet Tracking System Using Miniature Inertial Reference Sensors."

BEDFORD, Mass., 4 March 2005. InterSense Inc. was recently awarded a follow-on Phase II SBIR contract by the US Army Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM) titled "Cockpit Helmet Tracking System Using Miniature Inertial Reference Sensors."

The successful completion of Phase I has attracted the Airport & Aircraft Safety R&D Department of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which plans to support the Phase II effort with matching funds.

InterSense demonstrated a full working prototype in Phase I, and will now produce a flight-ready helmet tracking system with sub-millimeter position and sub-milliradian tracking accuracy to serve the dual use application requirements of the Army and FAA.

The Army's application calls for a configurable system that easily transitions from motion-based flight simulators to fixed and rotary wing flight cockpits for pilot image stabilization, improved situational awareness, and weapons cueing. The optical-inertial helmet tracker is also compatible with night vision goggles (NVGs). The FAA initially plans to deploy the helmet tracking system with pilots in emergency medical service (EMS) helicopters to enhance their awareness in adverse flight conditions. Additional general aviation applications are foreseen.

"The Phase I prototype proves our approach of combining inertial and optical sensors produces a robust and accurate helmet tracker," states company founder and CTO Eric Foxlin. "With the support from the FAA, we are building an extremely flexible and reconfigurable helmet tracker that is platform-independent, providing easy installation in any new or retrofit aircraft at minimum cost. Our unique sensor fusion approach allows us to tailor the tracking sensor configuration to meet requirements of any given application while delivering scalable accuracy at the most competitive price."

"The prototype developed under Phase I exceeded our expectations," adds Dr. Amy Sue Kransteuber, the contracting technical officer with the Aviation Engineering Directorate. "We are very pleased with InterSense's performance and look forward to expanding the deployment and test phase with the FAA."

The primary goals of the Phase II program are to enhance performance and usability, as well as produce flight-worthy systems for conducting Army & FAA flight trials. The technology is also applicable to: land vehicle head and helmet tracking; image guided and augmented surgery; and augmented reality for manufacturing, industrial training, field repair and maintenance.

"The Army's continued support, tied with the backing from the FAA, validates our technology in this challenging application," states Peter Tarca, InterSense president and CEO. "Having immediate field use in the military and general aviation markets strengthens our commitment of moving advanced tracking technology from the labs to the field."

InterSense Inc., Bedford, Mass., was founded in 1996 and is now the market leader in miniaturized, inertial-based, precision motion tracking technology used with simulation, training and immersive display systems. InterSense's patented motion tracking products enable realistic interaction with computer graphics for a variety of applications, including: simulation and training; oil and gas exploration; virtual prototyping and design; medical imaging; entertainment; and video/film production. For more information, see www.intersense.com.

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