Requirements for HUD Raster Image Modulation in Daylight

Charles J.C. Lloyd and William F. Reinhart Honeywell Systems and Research Center, Phoenix, Arizona

Presented at the 1993 Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, Santa Monica, California.

Practical Geometry Alignment Challenges in Flight Simulation Display Systems Requirements for HUD Raster Image Modulation in Daylight


Head-up displays (HUDs) represent the leading candidate display technology for inclusion in an enhanced or synthetic vision system (EVS or SVS) for commercial transport aircraft. One common EVS concept assumes the raster display of raw or processed sensor (radar or IR) data. However, experience with the use of raster rather than stroke display modes has been largely limited to the presentation of images captured by IR sensitive and image-intensified cameras during night flying conditions when the luminance of the forward scene over which the image will be superimposed is much lower than in daytime. The objective of this work is to generate a specification for minimum HUD raster image modulation assuming real-world luminance values typically found in low-visibility, daylight flight. Six Honeywell pilots rated the image quality and utility of flight video as presented through a military-style HUD in a transport cockpit mockup. Flight video came from daylight FLIR and daylight CCD cameras. The luminance of the forward scene against which the HUD image was superimposed was varied among nine levels ranging from 5fL to 10,000 fL. The results indicate that HUD raster luminance must be approximately 50% external scene luminance to promote good pilot awareness of general terrain. To maintain good utility and visibility of standard, high-contrast runway markings, runway center line, and runway edges, HUD raster luminance must be approximately 15% of the forward scene luminance.