Despite the progress in the avionics
navigation equipment the problem of pilots’ spatial orientation
while landing in poor visibility conditions stays extremely urgent:
recent time plane crashes (Polish president's Tu-154, Apr. 2010;
AirFrance A330 in the Atlantic, July. 2009 etc.) entailed hundreds
of victims are a strong evidence of such an assertion. The failure
of pilot's displays (United Airlines A320, Jan., 2008) is also a
reason to think about this subject.
The use of the newest technology of Augmented Reality (AR) allows
the virtual visualization of the approach descent path which does
not depend on the weather or nighttime. A kind of navigation application
using this technology was tested in the rally of the Rocket Racing
League (Tulsa, OK, USA) in Apr. 2010. AR system projected on the
pilot's helmet windshield (Targo from Elbit Systems) the image of
the flight path markers as a set of frames – see the video to the
The similar system with cost-effective
components (certified GPS/GLONASS receiver, AR eyeglasses instead
of the helmet) can be developed for the pilots of common aircrafts.
Such a back-up system will provide the approach descent path visualization
in any (even zero) visibility conditions. The stereo image of the
path markers in AR eyeglasses makes better spatial orientation than
the projection on the helmet windshield. The integrity and accuracy
of the current special sattelite navigation systems (SBAS and GBAS
according to ICAO terminology, e.g. WAAS and LAAS in US, EGNOS in
Europe, LKKS in Russia) are already approvbed by ICAO for the instrumental
landing (linear coordinates). Built-in gyroscope and accelerometer
of a mobile device are used to obtain angle coordinates.
Such a system allows a pilot to make the correct landing if the
plane flies through the set of virtual frames as it is shown on
the figure to the right. All equipment - AR eyeglasses and mobile
computer - fits the pilot's shirt pocket.
First prototype of the proposed system has been successfully tested
Demonstration of the prototype work wth a flight simulator ->
In comparison with EVS with
head-up display the suggested solution has considerable advantages:
3D and stereo markers
for the approach descent path.
No need in special training for pilots.
No need in special installation of the cumbersome equipment in the