U.K. aerospace giant BAE Systems released more details of its full-colour, fully digital solution with integrated night vision, called the Striker II, for use next generation fighter jets pilots.
Head-mounted displays director Nigel Kidd discussed the discriminating features of the Striker II head-mounted display and the direct benefits it brings to pilots.
The Striker II HMD builds on the already well-established Striker HMD, which has decades of combat-proven experience on Typhoon and Gripen C/D aircraft. A full-colour solution, Striker II provides fixed- and rotary-wing pilots with remarkable situational awareness, next generation night vision, 3D audio and target tracking technology; all within a fully integrated visor-projected HMD system.
The highly sophisticated Striker II technology lets pilots see through the body of the aircraft via a distributed aperture system, giving them a vital advantage when it comes to split-second decision making. Using optical sensors embedded in the aircraft, Striker II immediately calculates the pilot’s exact head position and angle. This means no matter where the pilot is looking, Striker II displays accurate targeting information and symbology, with ‘near zero’ latency.
A unique feature of Striker II is its 3D audio capability, paired with intelligent active noise reduction (ANR). The 3D audio provides the pilot with complete 360-degree directional audio, allowing them to hear the threat relevant to their position while also seeing it visually through colour symbology. The pilot can even tailor the direction of where specific communications come from.
For example, they may want ground communications to sound as if it’s originating from below the aircraft and friendly forces to be audible from above. ANR greatly increases the audio clarity delivered to the wearer by significantly reducing noise developed from the platform or the environment. The noise reduction technology supports the loudest of platforms and, by reducing airborne and acoustically transmitted noise, pilots are able to distinguish and interpret what’s most important to their mission.
Striker II is significantly lighter than today’s current HMD/NVG solutions, which means pilots can fly longer missions with reduced fatigue. The system also offers a better balance and centre of gravity with its integrated night vision camera configuration — increasing comfort during high G-level manoeuvres on fixed-wing platforms and significantly reducing neck loads for extended rotary-wing operations. Every helmet fit is tailored to ensure perfect weight distribution for each pilot; with the inner lining manufactured to the exact shape of the wearer’s head, finished with Italian leather.