Andrey L. Gorbunov, MSTUCA | a.gorbunov(at)

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 right:
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 pilot cabin.

Tens times reduced cost.

"Pocket" solution with autonomous power supply.


RU patents: 107515, 2012502912, 2011104172.

© A. L. Gorbunov, 2016 | a.gorbunov(at)