Flight-deck display software was designed and developed at NASA Langley Research Center to provide two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) terrain, obstacle, and flightpath perspectives on a single navigation display. The objective was to optimize the presentation of synthetic vision (SV) system technology that permits pilots to view multiple perspectives of flight-deck display symbology and 3D terrain information. Research was conducted to evaluate the efficacy of the concept. The concept has numerous unique implementation features that would permit enhanced operational concepts and efficiencies in both current and future aircraft.
The results showed that SV on the PFD was pivotal for pilot use in terrain avoidance and situation awareness, while SV terrain on the 2D co-planar navigational display was not found to provide much benefit. However, pilots noted that the 3D exocentric display of synthetic terrain, with key implementation features, added significantly to flight-crew situation awareness and substantially enhanced the pilot’s ability to detect and avoid controlled-flight-intoterrain situations.
Conclusions reached indicate that SV depicted on PFD is essential for terrain awareness. The situational awareness ratings for the SV PFD were largely due to the egocentric view that gave pilots an immersed sense of terrain around them. Pilot awareness and the capability for avoiding hazardous conditions were significantly enhanced with the addition of 3D exocentric navigation display modes that allowed for a greater field-of-regard to confirm the presence of hazards along their planned routing. The combination of SV primary flight and navigation display concepts allowed pilots to make the best and quickest decisions regarding safety of their aircraft.
This work was done by Lawrence J. Prinzel III, Lynda J. Kramer, J.J. Arthur III, and Randall E. Bailey of Langley Research Center and Jason L. Sweeters of NCI Information Systems, Inc. LAR-17354