BAE Systems bring new HUD to market

BAE Systems says it will be ready to sell a new generation head-up display (HUD) to commercial air operators from the fourth quarter of 2010 and discussions are being held with a range of potential customers in Africa and around the world.
The global defence and aerospace giant, with facilities in SA, says Q-HUD system is 50 percent smaller and lighter than the current generation, offers improved performance, leaves more cockpit headroom and is cheaper.
HUDs have been used aboard military aircraft – principally fighters – for decades as it allows pilots to view critical flight data while they are keeping their eye on where they are flying. In recent years the technology has become increasingly popular in civil aerospace. In high performance jets the state of the art has meanwhile moved on to helmet-mounted displays (HMD).       
Dave Herr, vice president of commercial avionics for BAE Systems in Johnson City, New York, says Q-HUD uses patented waveguide technology to render imagery on a display glass in the pilot`s windshield.
This eliminates the need for the complex projection-lens configuration common to traditional HUDs. The result is a low-profile unit that fits in the smaller cockpits of many business and regional jets.
“Q-HUD —  based on optics technology we introduced last year for HMDs —  offers commercial pilots greater situational awareness, enhanced safety, and improved operational effectiveness,” adds Herr.
The design of the display`s optics improves pilot comfort by allowing more room for head movement. In addition to conventional HUD symbology, the system can display enhanced and synthetic vision imagery such as infrared imagery and terrain data to provide better situational awareness to commercial pilots.
BAE Systems plans to make the Q-HUD available for the air transport, business jet, and regional jet markets.
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