DOD SBIR 24.4 Annual

Active
Yes
Status
Open
Release Date
October 3rd, 2023
Open Date
October 3rd, 2023
Due Date(s)
March 31st, 2025
Close Date
March 31st, 2025
Topic No.
A244-011

Topic

Off the Visor Heads Up Display (HUD)

Agency

Department of DefenseN/A

Program

Type: SBIRPhase: BOTHYear: 2024

Summary

The Department of Defense (DOD) is seeking proposals for the topic "Off the Visor Heads Up Display (HUD)" as part of its SBIR program. The objective of this topic is to develop available daylight readable off-the-visor display solutions for use in mixed reality (MR) head mounted display (HMD) systems. The goal is to design, produce, deliver, and characterize the most optimal off-the-visor solution for future soldier vision products. The technology should provide increased display-image performance, allowing the Warfighter to comfortably view sensor and computer-generated information while maintaining situational awareness on the battlefield. The technology should also offer ergonomic benefits such as lower weight and improved center of gravity. The project will involve research and definition of three viable see-through vision technology configurations in Phase I, followed by the production of a single prototype off-the-visor HUD in Phase II. The Phase II prototype should have the ability to display static imagery or video content suitable for daytime use and support at least a 30-degree field of view. The potential dual-use applications of this technology include workforce and automotive industries, manufacturing, automotive applications, environmental monitoring, healthcare, and immersive entertainment. The project duration is not specified, and funding specifics can be found on the grants.gov website. For more information, visit the SBIR topic link: [link].

Description

OUSD (R&E) CRITICAL TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Integrated Sensing and Cyber; Advanced Materials; Microelectronics

 

OBJECTIVE: This topic involves the development of available daylight readable off-the-visor display solutions for use in mixed reality (MR) head mounted display (HMD) systems with the goal of moving on to a Phase 2 applied SBIR where the most optimal off-the-visor solution can be designed, produced, delivered, and characterized for use in future soldier vision products. This new see-through heads-up display component would enable use of low-cost visor optics to complete a display system with performance compatible with the Army’s Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) requirements. Additionally, the technology may provide increased display-image performance over current systems, allowing the Warfighter to comfortably view sensor and computer-generated information during long-duration missions while continuing to maintain full situational awareness and light security on the battlefield. An optimal product or solution would also provide ergonomic benefits of lower weight and improved center of gravity and achieve affordability objectives consistent with wide-spread system fielding.

 

DESCRIPTION: Mixed Reality (MR) is the ability to improve someone’s situational awareness without degrading their natural ability to witness and interact with their surroundings. Advances in reduced size, weight, and power micro-displays (less than 1 inch diagonal) with low-profile off-the-visor see-through optics can deliver up to 2000fL of daytime contrasting light to the user’s eye, which is essential during combat and training conditions. The recent availability of man-portable power methods that run these electro-optics throughout an entire mission, coupled with these high transmission optics (>50%) will finally enable an overmatching MR capability for dismounted soldiers. An awardee will need to have experience with image alignment to avoid eye fatigue and user discomfort in these future vision capabilities.

 

PHASE I: Research and define three viable see-through vision technology configurations. This phase will focus on developing three viable designs for an off-the-visor HUD solution. Under Phase I, the awardee will research and document the trade-space for off-the-visor HUDs to include various optical configurations and image sources. By the end of phase I, the awardee will have defined three viable see through HUD designs, documenting the benefits and deficiencies of each.

 

PHASE II: Prototype most ideal see-through vision technology configurations. During Phase II, the awardee will produce a single prototype off-the-visor HUD, based on a design developed in the Phase I effort. At a minimum, the HUD prototype will have the ability to display static imagery or video content to the wearer at a brightness suitable for daytime use. The prototype should support at least a 30-degree field of view. The prototype will also provide a minimally distorted view through the visor of the real world in front of the wearer, such that walking and other mobility tasks are not impeded.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Primary commercial dual use potential is tied to the workforce and automotive industries providing hands-free critical information within complex environments.

Many commercial HUD applications for see-through optics have daylight contrast requirements that necessitate high display brightness.​
Potential dual-use market applications for heads up display include:​
	
		Manufacturing workers using HUDs to receive instructions, visualize assembly processes, or monitor equipment status​.
		Automotive applications in both vehicles and motorcycle helmets​
		Environmental monitoring in hazardous sites (e.g., mining and construction)​
		Healthcare applications, such as vital sign monitoring in the operating room​
		Immersive entertainment including gaming and media consumption.
	

 

 

REFERENCES:

Hamer, et. al., ""High-performance OLED microdisplays made with multi-stack OLED formulations on CMOS backplanes"", SPIE Proceedings Volume 11473, Organic and Hybrid Light Emitting Materials and Devices XXIV; 114730F (2020), https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2569848 2. Vogel, et. al., ""OLED microdisplays in near-to-eye applications: challenges and solutions"", SPIE Proceedings Volume 10335, Digital Optical Technologies 2017; 1033503 (2017) https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2270224
Vogel, et. al., ""OLED microdisplays in near-to-eye applications: challenges and solutions"", SPIE Proceedings Volume 10335, Digital Optical Technologies 2017; 1033503 (2017) https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2270224

 

KEYWORDS: Mixed Reality (MR); Head Mounted Display; Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS); Low-cost visor optics; off-the-visor; sensors; micro-displays