09 Oct
Air Warfare at a Glance Air Warfare at a Glance

Air Warfare at a Glance

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The folks at BAE Systems have come up with a new system for controlling fighter jets that relies on eye movements.

In a company press release, Lead Technologist Jean Page explains, “In terms of future concepts, we are looking at what we are calling a ‘wearable cockpit’. Here, you remove many of the physical elements of the cockpit, and replace it with a virtual display, projected through the helmet. Essentially, it’s a software-only cockpit that’s upgradeable, adaptable and reconfigurable.”

Because fighter pilots increasingly require faster, near-instant access to data and information, Page argues, it only makes sense to make management of those processes as easy as possible. Eye tracking provides pilots with the choice of locking onto a control device by sight and then deciding to activate it -- as opposed to having to navigate a collection of physical buttons and/or switches.

When it comes to designing a cockpit, just knowing where a pilot is glancing while carrying out a specific segment of a mission can yield significant benefits. One example: boosting the power of "alarm bells" so that the pilot can be provided with the right suggestions, thereby streamlining the pilot's reaction process.

Page notes that the system can gauge the pilot’s ultimate aim and employ smart processes to help cut down on tasks the pilot needs to execute.

"We want to do it in a way that doesn’t always ask for permission," says Page, "because that would get very annoying very quickly but equally, it is essential that it is always evident to the pilot what task the intelligent system is performing.”

BAE developed the concept model in conjunction with the UK Ministry of Defence and Royal Air Force.

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Read 3885 times Last modified on Monday, 01 October 2018 02:06
Jim Lillie

Jim began writing for newspapers and designing for publishing companies at a time when both industries were just beginning to make the switch from manual to digital platforms. Jim lives in Boulder, Colorado with his teenage son.

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