Fighter pilots have a glamorous, if very hazardous job. It’s not just having people shooting at you when you’re in a probably-supersonic aircraft, it’s also that the craft itself has a talent for messing you up. Accelerating through several Gs more than the average person can have a pilot black out and having to wear night-vision goggles for night missions can make that situation a whole lot worse.
In order to “…reduce g-force effects on the pilot’s head and neck to improve comfort” as well as reduce “…the need to manually configure and adjust night vision goggles”, BAE have come up with a new helmet that they call the Striker II HMD (Head Mounted Display).
Instead of having a set of goggles plastered onto the facial region, pilots using the new system will have a night vision view – taken from a camera that uses an electron bombarded active pixel sensor – projected onto the visors that they use while in flight. There’s also a new head-tracking system fitted to BAE’s helmet that keeps the pilot’s head and the HDM readout in sync at all times, according to the company. Always important when piloting multi-million dollar military hardware.
The Striker II doesn’t actually have a confirmed active service date yet but it’ll probably be soon seeing as how BAE is revealing the tech now.
Giving fighter pilots a more effective and comfortable way to access night vision while flying is all good and well but we’re more interested in the potential for using this sort of system in motor vehicles and smart motorcycle helmets. That would be something to see. In the dark.