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News

Night vision goggle simulation technology

Barco : 06 November, 2008  (New Product)
Projection technology from Barco enables effective simulation of night vision goggles for training purposes
Barco has recently optimised its liquid crystal on silicon (LCoS) SIM 7 projection platform for true, realistic stimulated night vision goggle (NVG) compatibility. This new technology offers improved contrast, deep black levels and more subtle gray shading than current technologies, which makes it the most realistic NVG simulation available for the flight training market.

Barco's SIM 7 projector is currently used in cross-cockpit collimated displays, mini-dome simulators for fast jet and helicopter training and other demanding simulation applications. Because many of today's civil and military flights or operations take place at night or in circumstances where natural light is scarce, pilots require stimulated NVGs. To better prepare pilots for the challenges they face during this mission, realistic simulation of these environments is paramount. To achieve this degree of realism, projectors in simulators need to have both deep black levels and sharp contrast levels.

Liquid crystal on silicon (LCoS) display technology is the prime candidate for this kind of simulation, because it allows such high contrasts and black levels by design. Competitors have already designed technologies that achieve stimulated NVG compatibility, by adding a fourth panel to the three chips of the LCoS platform to specifically address brightness modulation. The first three panels are imaged on the fourth panel with interpolator optics. For these competitive solutions, this causes a considerable loss of brightness, and it renders this technology incompatible with smear reduction for fast-moving images typically used in fast jet simulation. It also results in a number of color depth artifacts that decrease the image's overall realism. Barco has taken a different route to face these challenges.

Barco's SIM 7 projector series, which are also LCoS-based, apply technologies such as Extended Contrast Ratio (ECR) and Constant Contrast Dimming (CCD). This lets the SIM 7 projector increase the contrast up to 2,000,000;1, depending on the user's needs. As a result, both white and black levels are three times brighter and three times darker, respectively, compared to traditional solutions, allowing for authentic daytime and nighttime simulation. In addition, it enables smearing reduction to be combined with the NVG compatibility feature, resulting in a far greater degree of realism.

Barco's stimulated NVG compatibility for its SIM 7 projector will be shown at this year's I/ITSEC exhibition in Orlando, Florida (December 1-4, 2008).
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