Integration Of Commercial-Off-The-Shelf Optical Trackers With Integrated Intelligent Flight Deck Technologies
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Type of WorkText
DepartmentElectrical and Computer Engineering
ProgramDoctor of Engineering
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Low visibility is a problem which hinders a pilot's ability to perform successful flight operations. This issue decreases a pilot's situational awareness (SA) and can lead to runway incursion (RI) and controlled flight into terrain (CFIT). The enhancement of SA can subsequently lead to the reduction of these incidents as well as increased safety during flight. This enhancement is achieved via Integrated Intelligent Flight Deck technologies (IIFD), which offer computer-generated three-dimensional imagery of the external environment regardless of the actual conditions. This system requires a mechanism that provides control for the IIFD display. The apparatus is typically a head tracking device, but current head tracking implementations that are considered for this process are too intricate, too expensive, or publicly inaccessible. In this paper, the use of a Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) optical tracker as a means of IIFD control is investigated. It involves the justification of optical tracking over other existing tracking types, as well as the selection of a commercially available tracker based on performance and affordability metrics. The results show that a COTS optical tracker that meets those metrics can be a cost-effective device that is suitable for IIFD use within a cockpit of a General Aviation (GA) aircraft. A pivotal part of the investigation is the impact of signal jitter and engine vibration jitter on the tracking device. This is necessary as the effects of both these disturbances can affect the accuracy necessary for adequate control of the IIFD display. The simulation of engine vibration jitter via a haptic interface is presented in order to generate and assess its physical impact on the cockpit environment. This paper also examines the use of an adaptive smoothing algorithm, designed to curb the erratic effect. The studies reveal that while the haptic device produces limited engine vibration simulation, an adaptive smoother can significantly reduce the impact of jitter on a tracking device affected by that interference.