Night Vision Imaging Systems technology is advancing at a rapid pace. These advances can be broadly divided in twodistinct categories; performance and data management. There is an encouraging trend towards higher sensitivity, betterresolution, and lower power consuming devices. These improvements, coupled with the shift from analog to digital dataoutput, promise to provide a powerful night vision device. Given a digital system, the data can be managed to enhancethe pilot’s view (image processing), overlay data from multiple sensors (image fusion), and send data to remote locationsfor analysis (image sharing).The US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) has an active program to introduce a helmet mounted digital imagingsystem that extends the detection range from the near infrared (NIR) band to the short-wave infrared (SWIR) band.Aside from the digital output, part of the motivation to develop a SWIR imaging system includes the desire to exploit theSWIR ambient night glow spectrum, see through some levels of fog and haze, and use a robust sensor technologysuitable for 24 hours per day imaging.Integrating this advanced SWIR imaging system into a cockpit presents some human factor issues. Light emitted fromilluminated instruments may hinder the performance of the imaging system, reducing the pilot’s ability to detect lowvisibleobjects at night. The transmission of light through cockpit transparencies and through the atmosphere may alsoimpact performance. In this paper we propose a model that establishes cockpit lighting SWIR radiance limits, much likeMIL-STD-3009 specifies NVIS radiance limits for NVGs. This model is the culmination of a two year programsponsored by AFRL.
Proceedings of SPIE – SPIE
Published: Jun 4, 2013
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