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|July 19, 2000||
Unique head-up display developed for LCA
T V Padma in Chandigarh
India replicated classified technology used by advanced nations using a state-of-the-art head-up display system for its Light Combat Aircraft. This helps a pilot view both vital information and outside world without changing his line of sight.
The Indian HUD, claimed to be superior to similar systems in the international market, can also be used in aiming missiles and guns during combat.
The indigenous HUD, developed at the Central Scientific Instruments Organisation in Chandigarh, has been handed over to the Aeronautics Development Establishment, Bangalore. The technology is now being modified for the Sukhoi, Jaguar and MIG-27 aircraft, CSIO director R P Bajpai said. Senior army officers have watched demonstrations of the technology.
CSIO scientists said they had initiated the HUD project in 1992 and developed their unit "from scratch, with no reverse engineering involved". In laymen's terms this means they made it all themselves.
Vital information about the aircraft, and information about altitude, pressure etc, are superimposed on the pilot's viewing window. This means the pilot does not have switch from watching a bank of instruments to the outside world. The time taken to adjust is often crucial in extreme situations.
So the pilot can fly the aircraft "head up", reducing his workload and enhancing his fighting capacity.
"HUD is a contemporary, state-of-the-art technology in international market," says V M L Narasimham, head of CSIO's Applied Optics division, whose scientists developed the vital technology.
For example, compared to Israel's HUD, the CSIO equipment is noiseless, silent, and offers a better field of view, he says, adding that it is compact, reliable, non-reflective and designed for high-performance aircraft. The HUD will be displayed at the coming air show in Bangalore later this year.
The team has delivered three HUDs to ADE. One unit has been tested for environmental stress specifications and is ready for integration with the LCA. The second is being readied for flight safety tests under simulated conditions, while the third has undergone form fit and function testing.
A fourth HUD unit, currently undergoing tests at CSIO, will be handed over to ADE within 10 days. In two to three months, two airworthy units would be ready, Narasimhan said.
The Bharat Electronics Limited at Panchkula near Chandigarh has placed an order for five HUDs which will cost Rs six million a piece. BEL will begin HUD production later.
CSIO scientists will next work on a helmet-mounted display, specifications for which are being worked out by the ADA. The institute is also working fire safety sensors for LCA.
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