Estimating Detection Range and Range Loss Looking through Windshields and Head-Up Displays,
AIR FORCE AEROSPACE MEDICAL RESEARCH LAB WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH
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It is very important for an aircraft pilot to be able to detect distant objects. His ability to do so is impaired by loss of target contrast due to the atmosphere and to passive optical elements through which he must look. These elements are the aircrafts windshield and head-up display HUD and his own helmet visor and spectacles or sun glasses. The problem is to determine loss of target detection range due to loss of contrast. This report examines loss of detection range by combining sighting geometry with the contrast transmission of the atmosphere and other optical elements and with human ability to detect targets. Numerical examples will be presented as tutorial exercises and target detection ranges for selected conditions will be worked out in detail to familiarize the reader with the graphical method derived in this paper.