The Application of Diffraction Optics to the Lantirn Head-Up Display,
AERONAUTICAL SYSTEMS DIV WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH
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Head-Up Displays HUDs using diffraction optics often called holographic HUDs have been in development for nearly a decade, seeking to exploit the potential of diffraction optics for improved field of view, brightness, and see-through efficiency. But no operational HUD has ever been built using diffraction optics, partly because of limitations in head motion box, overlapping binocular field of view, and producibility partly because past mission requirements could be met with simpler, cheaper, and proven conventional optics. The Low Altitude Navigation and Targeting Infrared for Night LANTIRN program, however, requires a field of view too large to be achievable using conventional optics, necessitating the use of diffraction optics in production quantities for the first time. The LANTIRN HUD will use new approaches in optical design and fabrication techniques to meet the LANTIRN requirements and overcome the previous limitations of diffraction optics. This paper describes these advances in the application of diffraction optics to HUD technology.