Washington, US: Scientists at NASA developed a pair of augmented reality glasses for pilots to wear in low visibility conditions, which enable pilots to navigate their way during foggy conditions. The special glasses can track a pilot’s head-movements and overlay runways, towers and potentially other airplanes over their view – an invaluable tool when fog rolls down across an airport. Even as the pilot turns his head, the glasses can react in real-time to ensure the virtual representations always stay in the same place as their real-world counterparts.
Speaking about the special headgear, Trey Arthur, an electronics engineer at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Virginia where the glasses have been developed, said, “If pilots are not familiar with the airport, they have to stop and pull out maps. This display, in the new world where these routes are going to be digital, can tell them what taxiway they’re on, where they need to go, where they’re headed, and how well they’re tracking the runway’s centre line.”
The headset, which weighs less than a quarter of a pound (113g), incorporates a lens that fits over one eye, providing the pilot with a variety of information, as well as a virtual view of the surroundings. It’s even designed to track head movements, quickly providing an accurate and realistic virtual image for the pilot.
Similar heads-up display (HUD) technology is already used by pilots of some military aircraft. Some pilots have even rated NASA’s headset higher than the cockpit technology which provided them with similar information.
Source: Digital Trends