InterSense seeks to bring military head-worn display technology into the civil aviation cockpit

BILLERICA, Mass., 21 Jan. 2010. Officials of the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in Washington are asking engineers at InterSense Inc. in Billerica, Mass., to flight-test inertial-optical head-tracking system avionics for commercial avionics applications.

Posted by John Keller

BILLERICA, Mass., 21 Jan. 2010. Officials of the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in Washington are asking engineers at InterSense Inc. in Billerica, Mass., to flight-test inertial-optical head-tracking system avionics for commercial avionics applications.

This is continuing previous small business innovative research (SBIR) contracts for InterSense to develop a miniaturized inertial-optical tracker prototype integrated into a head-worn display for airline and business jet pilots. In this next phase, InterSense will flight test the system.

Based on the InterSense hybrid inertial-optical motion tracking technology, the commercial-cockpit vision system integrates real-time position and viewing orientation of the pilot with a head-mounted display, instead of a traditional heads-up display. This approach enables the pilot to see critical, spatially-integrated enhanced and synthetic vision information without looking down into the cockpit or even straight ahead.

Research from NASA's Aviation Safety Program reveals that head-worn displays help enable safe advanced applications for the Next Generation Air Transportation System, the Federal Aviation Administration's movement to overhaul the entire U.S. air transportation system.

By coupling miniature head-worn displays with head-motion tracking, the InterSense system will provide the pilot with visually-coupled data that can pinpoint threat alerts, highlight assigned taxiways and airways, reduce cockpit workload, and increase overall situational awareness.

"Our goal is to bring the spatially integrated head-worn display concept of military aviation to pilots in commercial flight environments," explains T.C. Browne, chief executive officer of InterSense. For more information contact InterSense online at www.intersense.com.

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