Hands down, the most prominent application for night vision technology is in the military. And within the military, the position that may get the most use out of it is the fighter pilot. Because piloting a jet at night isn’t just like driving a car – you can’t just illuminate the path ahead with a couple of headlights. Therefore, night vision technology is installed into a pilot’s helmet, so that it can be accessed immediately when necessary. The downside to this, however, is that it makes the helmets rather bulky and heavy, potentially putting undue strain on the pilot’s neck. And when someone is piloting a huge piece of machinery in the sky, any source of discomfort needs to be addressed.
As a result, BAE Systems has been developing a new model called the Striker II helmet-mounted display, which will hopefully do away with those cumbersome older models for good. Claiming to be the “most advanced fighter pilot helmet” ever, the Striker II features a revolutionary new display that translates information from a lighter weight night vision camera mounted on the helmet directly to the pilot’s line of sight. This means the pilot will get all the same information about their surroundings immediately without needing traditional night vision goggles at all. Utilizing a state-of-the-art tracking system, the helmet can monitor the pilot’s exact head position so it always knows exactly what information to display.
The Striker II’s display has also been upgraded with more colour and can transition between day and night seamlessly so that there’s no awkwardness in the dawn or dusk hours. There’s also a new 3D audio system that can help pilots hear what direction sounds are coming from.
BAE recently held night trials for the Striker II at the Farnborough Air Show in Hampshire, England and assuming that all the data comes back fine, this sleek new night vision helmet will probably become standard military-grade equipment in no time.
Source: Daily Mail