DTI’s Next Generation Autostereoscopic Glasses-Free 3D LCD Displays Will Make Air Travel Safer
In the very near future, pilots will receive better information from DTI autostereoscopic instrumentation and navigation displays. According to NASA, this will result in an 18% improvement in pilot situational awareness.
In addition, aerial refueling operations will become faster and more efficient because refueling boom operators will be able to more easily position their booms into an aircraft fuel receptacle and air traffic controllers will have a better intuitive understanding and greater command of their airspace because they will see air traffic on their displays with high-fidelity depth cues.
People who make mission-critical decisions and take actions based on what they see on their displays will be able to see two-dimensional (2D) images like they always do, and will also be able to see three-dimensional (3D) images like never before. How will they be able to do this? With a next-generation autostereoscopic glasses-free 3D LCD commissioned by NASA through the SBIR program and designed and built by Dimension Technologies Inc. (DTI) of Rochester, New York. Unlike other 3D displays, DTI’s unique ROC3D display produces full resolution, high brightness 3D images with maximum depth and freedom of viewing position without glasses or headsets, and can display images generated by the same software used by glasses based display. No other 3D display can do all of that. DTI is developing the holy grail of 3D – a display that possesses all the features and ease of use of a typical 2D display, but which displays images in 3D instead.
The science has been in for a long time—depth matters!
NASA studies dating back to the 1990s have proven conclusively that pilots perform better in critical aviation procedures when they are presented with navigation information and instrumentation in realistic 3D.
John O. Merritt, Senior Consulting Scientist of The Merritt Group (merritt.com) states:
“I have been a researcher and consultant for government and industry in the field of stereoscopic 3D image capture and display for over 30 years. Many scientific studies and a wealth of real-world experience have shown that 3D displays can improve human performance in mission-critical situations. For example, 3D displays can improve a pilot’s awareness of conditions and other aircraft in surrounding airspace, and can provide enhanced warning capabilities when a hazardous situation is encountered.”
So what does an 18% improvement in situational awareness mean? Let’s consider a high-stakes scenario—a mid-air collision avoidance maneuver. U.S. Naval Aviation Safety Center research shows that it takes 12.5 sec from the time the anomaly is first identified to the time that the plane responds to the pilot’s action. Two commercial airliners traveling at 500 mph have an effective closing speed of 1000 mph—that is a mile every 3.6 sec. If you spot the anomaly 4 miles out, you have to beat the average by 2.0 sec. In this scenario, an 18% improvement in situational awareness could very well make the difference between a successful avoidance and a tragic collision.