Helmet- and head-mounted display systems, denoted fiber-scanned micro-displays, have been proposed to provide information in an “augmented reality” format (meaning that the information would be optically overlaid on the user’s field of view). A system of this type would include laser diodes feeding light into the input ends of optical fibers. The output ends of the fibers would be vibrated in prescribed patterns (scanned), in synchronism with excitation of the laser diodes, to trace out the patterns to be displayed. Lenses would form virtual images of the patterns and project the images directly (or by reflection) into the viewer’s eyes.

The effective object distance of the images could be set to approximate the distances of other objects in the field of view, so that the viewer need not refocus to view the display. The display units could be positioned to present the displays at the margin of the field of view, thereby minimizing distraction when the user needs to concentrate attention elsewhere. Alternatively, the display units could be mounted so that a turn of the eye or a slight turn of the head from a nominal straight-ahead orientation would be necessary for viewing the displays.

This work was done by Janet Crossman-Bosworth and Eric Seibel of the University of Washington for Johnson Space Center. For further information, contact the JSC Innovation Partnerships Office at (281) 483-3809. MSC-23847-1

NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the August, 2010 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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