WORLD’S FIRST ‘HEAD-UP DISPLAY FOR SOLDIER’ IN FIELD TESTING
Ever watchful that a new piece of technology may offer our existing and future clients an edge over their adversaries take a look at the UK’s BAE Systems Q-Warrior project. A revolutionary helmet mounted display system designed to provide soldiers and Special Forces personnel with more real-time visual data than ever before, reported to be exceeding expectations in field testing with current US military researchers.
The Q-Warrior™- the latest iteration of their helmet-mounted display technology, looks like a pilot’s head-up display but has been specially designed for the soldier who needs unique capabilities, such as identifying hostile and non-hostile forces, as well as co-ordinating small unit actions.
Designed and built by engineers at Electronic Systems business in Rochester, Kent, they report that the system significantly increases situational awareness capabilities for the ‘dismounted soldier’. Q-Warrior™ introduces a high transmission and high luminance see-through display which incorporates a high-resolution colour, collimated display to allow the use of symbols and video to blend intuitively with the user’s view of the world. Waypoints, other points of interest and targets can all be displayed overlaid on the real view of what’s actually out there.
Paul Wright, Soldier Systems’ Business Development Lead at BAE Systems’ Electronic Systems in Rochester, Kent, said these are only some of the innovations which have been incorporated into the new display. “Q-Warrior™ increases the user’s situational awareness by providing the potential to display “eyes-out” information to the user, including textual information, warnings and threats,” he said. “Other key features include enhanced night vision, waypoints and routing information, and the ability to track both personnel and assets. We assume this is by the means of electronic “Trackers”, GPS and Blue Force tracking systems as opposed to true “Visual” Tracking!
“The biggest demand, in the short term at least, will be in roles where the early adoption of situational awareness technology offers a defined advantage,” added Mr Wright. “This is likely to be within non-traditional military units with reconnaissance roles, such as Forward Air Controllers/Joint Tactical Aircraft Controllers (JTACS) or with Special Forces during counter terrorist tasks. The next level of adoption could be light role troops such as airborne forces or marines, where technical systems and aggression help to overcome their lighter equipment.”
Q-Warrior™ also features a large eye-motion box to allow the soldier to make relatively large movements of his or her helmet while continuing to maintain his view of the display.
Although it is expected that Q-Warrior™ will initially be employed at the section commander level, the technology could become an essential but standard issue piece of kit for every soldier.
As with all technological advances battery life, size and therefore weight, will all become limiting factors with many of you already coming to the conclusion that a good “old fashioned” map offers us much of the information that this “high tech” unit professes to provide and without the possible “Data distraction” and weight encumbrance. Ultimately a lightweight headgear that can measure distances, display 3D building layouts, transmit video from a drone, all on a glass display right in front of your eyes, could prove that this is one piece of technology that you can’t afford to ignore!
The Q-Warrior™ builds upon technologies developed for our Q-Sight®