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RAF Pilots Blinded At 1000 Mph By Helmet Technical Glitch

timothy posted about a year ago | from the heads-up dept.

Bug 154

codeusirae writes "RAF pilots were left 'blinded' by a barrage of images while flying at speeds of over 1,000 mph when a number of technical glitches hit their high-tech helmets. The visors were supposed to provide the fighter pilots with complete vision and awareness, but problems with the display produced a blurring known as 'green-glow,' meaning they were unable to see clearly.The green glow occurred when a mass of information was displayed on the helmet-mounted display systems, including radar pictures and images from cameras mounted around the aircraft."

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whats wrong with flying blind (0)

ozduo (2043408) | about a year ago | (#45320013)

our pollies do it all the time!

Red Army Faction? (-1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | about a year ago | (#45320025)

What's with the Red Army Faction these days? Did they get some fast airplanes or what?

We need context (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45320015)

Is this a good thing or a bad thing?

Re:We need context (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45320081)

If it happen in the day it's bad, but at night it's okay, none see at night any way.

Re:We need context (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45320623)

GSOD?

If you're a RAF/MS spinmeister, it's a feature.

"Blinded", then - not blinded. (0)

Threni (635302) | about a year ago | (#45320023)

Sort it out. This isn't a tabloid.

This Much Hyperbole? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45320663)

Sort it out. This isn't a tabloid.

Are you sure. Everything about this report seems very tabloid-ish. Though the article claims that pilots were "left blinded", it would seem far more likely that they were momentarily blinded by an unexpected bright light or possibly only electronically "blinded" because their HUDs turned solid green.

I don't believe that the pilots lost their sense of sight for more than a few seconds, if at all. This much hyperbole smacks of tabloidism.

Hyperbole tabloidism? (1)

codeusirae (3036835) | about a year ago | (#45321287)

"I don't believe that the pilots lost their sense of sight for more than a few seconds, if at all. This much hyperbole smacks of tabloidism."

Do you have any reliable citations for these believes?

Re:Hyperbole tabloidism? (3, Insightful)

Threni (635302) | about a year ago | (#45323569)

"Believes" don't require citations. He's not quoting anyone else; he's stating his opinion. If someone says that their microwave oven killed their dog, who was in the garden, and you say that you don't believe that the microwave was the cause, you would be unable to produce a citation (as it was you making the claim), nor would the onus be on you to do so.

Where's the manual override? (5, Insightful)

nikhilhs (1292298) | about a year ago | (#45320073)

Glitches happen. I'd assume there's an easy to reach switch that would make the visor of the helmet transparent.

Re:Where's the manual override? (2)

cheater512 (783349) | about a year ago | (#45320367)

That would be smart and logical. Of course they couldn't have put a switch in!

Re:Where's the manual override? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45321131)

Or at least have some gamma and/or contrast and brightness adjustment controls.

I'd suspect whoever made the software for the avionics didn't test on the intended display type. What looks good on your desktop screen might not work so well on different hardware using a completely different display driver. Probably also did something stupid like setting background brighness for each virtual panel to #333333 instead of #000000, which would cause a problem if layer rendering for overlays is additive.

But it probably looked pretty in the sim used for UI testing before being handed off.

Or if it's hardware, it could be something stupid like signal bleed in the wires going to the helmet. But when you're developing systems that cost millions of dollars, you should already know about something that has been solved since VGA cables were invented or eliminated completely by using digital rather than analog display signals.

Re: Where's the manual override? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45320379)

With fully immersive technology the helmet wouldn't have a transparent screen onto which displays would be projected; rather, the helmet would just contain a bunch of displays. The switch would go between "what you are flying into" and Angry Birds.

Re:Where's the manual override? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45320873)

Not according to republicans.

Re: Where's the manual override? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45320877)

Luke, you switched off your targeting computer! What's wrong?

Re:Where's the manual override? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45323073)

Love the idea of the pilot facepalming to turn off the HUD :)

Re:Where's the manual override? (2)

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) | about a year ago | (#45323381)

Flip the visor up or take the helmet off both work for me :)

Training 101 Yoda points out that (0, Offtopic)

auric_dude (610172) | about a year ago | (#45320079)

"a Jedi's strength flows from the Force." while training Luke (a statement he would repeat in Return of the Jedi); Yoda also explains that "you must feel the Force around you." During their battle in Cloud City, Darth Vader tells Luke "The Force is with you, young Skywalker, but you are not a Jedi yet." Finally, Luke says "May the Force be with you" at the end of the movie. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Force_(Star_Wars) [wikipedia.org]

Re: Training 101 Yoda points out that (2)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about a year ago | (#45321157)

"a Jedi's strength flows from the Force." while training Luke (a statement he would repeat in Return of the Jedi); Yoda also explains that "you must feel the Force around you." During their battle in Cloud City, Darth Vader tells Luke "The Force is with you, young Skywalker, but you are not a Jedi yet." Finally, Luke says "May the Force be with you" at the end of the movie. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Force_(Star_Wars) [wikipedia.org]

That's all well and good in a galaxy far, far away where the laws of physics are significantly different than this on. Where laser guns (or what ever they are) travel slower than a rifle round in this one. I suppose that explains whey they can travel at light speed though. RAF/all pilots in this galaxy are not Jedi, nor do they have any midichlorians to "feel" the world around them.

Sir (4, Funny)

Ogive17 (691899) | about a year ago | (#45320107)

They've gone into plaid

Re:Sir (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45320999)

Their helmets were mint jammed.

Re:Sir (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | about a year ago | (#45321117)

RAF? They come from the land that invented plaid.

Re:Sir (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about a year ago | (#45322267)

RAF? They come from the land that invented plaid.

Just don't go into a kilt.

Relying exclusively on electronic technology (5, Informative)

ls671 (1122017) | about a year ago | (#45320117)

Relying exclusively on electronic technology introduce a single point of point of failure. Fly by wires, car ecu etc.

Not being able to fall back to some kind of manual mechanical control introduces all kinds of vulnerabilities. Whether it is a glitch in the software, solar flares, aliens or something else ;-)

http://tech.slashdot.org/story/13/10/29/208205/toyotas-killer-firmware [slashdot.org]

http://www.ecutesting.com/toyota.html [ecutesting.com]

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/ufo/8026971/Aliens-have-deactivated-British-and-US-nuclear-missiles-say-US-military-pilots.html [telegraph.co.uk]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fly-by-wire [wikipedia.org]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Engine_control_unit [wikipedia.org]

Re:Relying exclusively on electronic technology (4, Insightful)

dunkelfalke (91624) | about a year ago | (#45320177)

The pilot is already a single point of failure.

Re:Relying exclusively on electronic technology (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45320247)

That's how I approach things: If there's already 1 single point of failure, why not introduce a bunch of others?

Re:Relying exclusively on electronic technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45320603)

Superior performance comes to mind. If they get rid of the pilot then they have the same number as always but the plane doesn't have the engineering expense of a human accommodating cockpit or the occasional catastrophic seawall collision^1.

(1) http://abcnews.go.com/US/asiana-airlines-spared-greater-catastrophe-marvelous-bird/story?id=19609439&page=2

Always take a bomb on the plane (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about a year ago | (#45323727)

Perfectly sensible, it's much safer.

After all, what's the chance of them all going wrong?

Re:Relying exclusively on electronic technology (4, Insightful)

Luckyo (1726890) | about a year ago | (#45320241)

Fly by wire has multiple redundancies. It's not a single point of failure any more than hydraulic control system is.

Re:Relying exclusively on electronic technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45320273)

Shhhhh, you'll ruin the Luddites day.

Re:Relying exclusively on electronic technology (3, Insightful)

felipekk (1007591) | about a year ago | (#45320543)

He means that the whole system depends on "electronics". For him a better option would be electronics + hydraulics as a backup or something. In any case, the story is about the helmet. The pilot can always take it off...

Re:Relying exclusively on electronic technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45320641)

It is already electronics and hydraulics, with multiple backups.

Just a retard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45320777)

He doesn't understand that "electronics" is not a single system; in digital fly by wire aircraft, they are very redundant systems, with the only single point of failure being the pilot and the hardware connected to the pilot. Physically separated processors, physically separated busses, airgapped power busses on multi-engine aircraft, separate actuators, redundant flight control surfaces in most, etc. The "wings" I guess are each a single point of failure, but they also have quite a bit of redundancy; tested to 175% of maximum designed loads.

Re:Just a retard (2)

Luckyo (1726890) | about a year ago | (#45322593)

In large plane civil aviation, even that has redundancy. There are two sets of control hardware, on each side of the cockpit. There are two pilots, who are even required to pick different items from the in flight menu in case of food poisoning.

Re:Just a retard (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45323017)

I believe the food poisoning prevention rule is referred to as the "Leslie Nielsen Protocol"...

Re:Relying exclusively on electronic technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45321161)

I can only imagine how much carnage there would have been if there was no mechanical linkage on the steering column that time my car died while going at speed around a right-hand curve on a crowded non-divided highway.

Re:Relying exclusively on electronic technology (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | about a year ago | (#45322601)

Probably the same, as the only thing you'd lose is hydraulic assist, just like you did. Electric parts can be driven by the battery.

Re:Relying exclusively on electronic technology (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about a year ago | (#45321737)

He means that the whole system depends on "electronics".

"Air" is also a single point of failure, then. As is "metal".

Re:Relying exclusively on electronic technology (2)

peragrin (659227) | about a year ago | (#45321887)

Fuel is an even more dangerous point of failure. I mean carrying around explosive burn liquids while traveling at high speed doesn't make any sense.

Re:Relying exclusively on electronic technology (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about a year ago | (#45323763)

Hydraulics is fine for a dumb servo, like power steering in a car.

Fly by wire is an entirely different thing. You can't substitute the former for the latter.

Re:Relying exclusively on electronic technology (5, Informative)

jklovanc (1603149) | about a year ago | (#45320665)

You really need to learn more about modern aircraft. When an aircraft is designed there is a trade off between stability and maneuverability. The more stable something is the less maneuverable it is. Today's aircraft are very unstable and very manuverable. Electronocs allow that becouse they can make the thousands of control inputs per second to keep the aircraft stable. Most modern fighters would fly apart of if the electronics failed even if there were mechanical backups.

By the way, the backup for the visor failing is lift the visor and use the cockpit readouts.

Re:Relying exclusively on electronic technology (3, Interesting)

EdIII (1114411) | about a year ago | (#45321263)

By the way, the backup for the visor failing is lift the visor and use the cockpit readouts.

Of course they did that. I don't know who would assume otherwise. Do you think, while shitting their pants, that they continued to go +1000mph without lifting their visors?

The problem still remains. In the middle of a dog fight is not where you want to have to lift your visor that gave you all those nifty capabilities. Cockpit readouts cannot replace those abilities either as the advantage is not the same. Instead of being inside the helmet they should really consider making the glass around the cockpit the interface itself. Graceful failure allows the glass to be transparent. Or they could make the glass in the visor do the same thing. Lifting not required. Worse case scenario there is a button easily accessible that cuts all power to the display systems turning them transparent more or less instantly.

Plus, imagine if Clint Eastwood in Firefox accidentally restarted the system and it wanted him to think in Chinese? I would be fucked cuz the only thing I could reliably think about in Chinese is found on a menu.

It's not so much about redundancy as it is graceful failure in situations like this.

Re:Relying exclusively on electronic technology (4, Informative)

Sperbels (1008585) | about a year ago | (#45321361)

In the middle of a dog fight is not where you want to have to lift your visor that gave you all those nifty capabilities.

Dogfight? What century do you think this is? I'm not really an expert, but my understanding of modern air battles is that they launch missiles at each other from extremely long distances.

Re:Relying exclusively on electronic technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45321609)

Modern air battles still require you to identify your target before opening fire. This plus strict rules of engagement mean that the scenario you are describing does not always apply.

Re:Relying exclusively on electronic technology (1)

pellik (193063) | about a year ago | (#45321813)

Which is why most of the advances in the next gen fighters have to do with communications rather then just pushing the envelope further. The planes already know where all the friendlies are.

Re:Relying exclusively on electronic technology (1)

michelcolman (1208008) | about a year ago | (#45323439)

Except for the occasional mishap where they open fire on their own troops.

Re:Relying exclusively on electronic technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45321927)

If your system can't identify the target beyond the horizon then your system belongs in the last century.

Re:Relying exclusively on electronic technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45322817)

RoE normally prohibit that scenario. And is exactly the thinking that caused problems for the US in Korea.

Re:Relying exclusively on electronic technology (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about a year ago | (#45323791)

RoE can be changed.

There's little point in having BVRAAMs if you have to get close enough to see the target's paint job before firing them.

Re:Relying exclusively on electronic technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45323605)

Well that is what everyone thinks since Lockheed is trying to sell the F-22 and the JSF. But if you look at the statistics like in the quote below from http://defenseissues.wordpress.com/2013/04/27/usefulness-of-bvr-combat/ you see that things are not that clear cut.
This increasing distance is the reason for the helmet to be vital: advanced optical and IR imaging (called FLIR) allow the pilot to be engaged in a long distance fight (at several 10 of km, just on the the edge of what would normally be inside visual range). The helmet is a visual range extender.

"Two post-Cold War wars in Iraq are offered as examples that BVR theory has finally reached maturity and that BVR combat now is prevalent form of aerial combat. Out of 41 kills in Desert Storm, 16 involved use of BVR shots, but only five kills are known to have been made at BVR. Even then, longest-ranged kill of these five certain BVR kills was made at distance of 29,6 kilometers, and one of remaining BVR shots was made at night from what would have been visual range in daytime. Desert Storm was first conflict where more kills were made by radar-guided missiles than by IR missiles – 24 vs 10. While 24 radar-guided missile kills out of 88 shots gives Pk of 27%, F-15s killed 23 targets in 67 shots with AIM-7 (Pk 0,34), while Sidewinder launches from F-15 resulted in 8 kills from 12 shots (Pk 0,67). While F-16s launched 36 Sidewinders and scored 0 kills, at least 20 launches were accidental due to poor control stick ergonomy; F-16s in question themselves were overweight F-16Cs, so-called “more capable” variant equipped with BVR capability and tons of electronics. Iraqi Freedom was likely similar in this aspect. AIM-120, meanwhile, demonstrated BVR Pk of 0,46 in Iraqi Freedom and Allied Force (6 kills out of 13 shots)."

Dogfighting still a necessity sometimes (2)

sjbe (173966) | about a year ago | (#45324297)

Dogfight? What century do you think this is? I'm not really an expert, but my understanding of modern air battles is that they launch missiles at each other from extremely long distances.

That's what they thought would happen around the time of the Vietnam war. They even went so far as to remove the guns from the fighter aircraft. Turned out they were full of shit. Missiles did not eliminate the need for air combat maneuvering (aka a dogfight) and actually put their pilots at a disadvantage at times. These lessons were a big part of the reason why pilot schools like TOPGUN [wikipedia.org] were created. Even the most modern fighters like the F22 [wikipedia.org] carry onboard 20mm cannons to this day.

Re:Relying exclusively on electronic technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45320683)

Your post is entirely disconnected from reliability engineering. Having fewer points of failure is better than having more.

And this is obvious.

Re:Relying exclusively on electronic technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45323545)

You are correct, a wired cable/pulley system leading to the hydraulics is just as prone to failure if not more, it requires a lot more maintenance and inspection and thus has a higher chance of error during maintenance. Doesnt sound that safer doesnt it?

Re:Relying exclusively on electronic technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45320825)

Having a single point of failure is much better than having multiple points of failure.
The chance of 1 of ten things failing is much larger than the chance of one thing failing.

Re:Relying exclusively on electronic technology (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | about a year ago | (#45321307)

Sure, if that's what the opposite of having a single point of failure was, but since it isn't that's irrelevant.

Re:Relying exclusively on electronic technology (1)

dbIII (701233) | about a year ago | (#45323567)

One really fun example from a while back was the C4 Galaxy and autoadjustment of the rudder on the tail - a huge control surface. The autoadjustment was set up for testing before the gyro was running. Apparently that's how the testers found out the natural frequency of the plane was about 4 Hz - with that huge rudder flapping back and forth four times a second trying to shake the entire airframe apart on it's stands. The guy who told me worked on that project (as a junior engineer) and is now Dean of Engineering at a large University, so it's probably true - good story either way.

Re:Relying exclusively on electronic technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45323641)

It's stupid posts like this marked "insightful" that really questions the intelligence of the average slashdotter..

Please explain to me how you would build a mechanical controlled jet plane traveling 1000 mph? I'll save you the time and energy. You can't.

Single point of failure is a design choice (1)

sjbe (173966) | about a year ago | (#45324211)

Relying exclusively on electronic technology introduce a single point of point of failure. Fly by wires, car ecu etc.

Fly/Drive-by-wire only has a single point of failure if you design it that way. Fly-by-Wire systems are regularly designed to be multiply redundant [wikipedia.org] or even have mechanical backups. Because fly-by-wire is typically lighter it is often possible to have more safety systems in place. Mechanical systems despite seeming dependable are often actually less reliable if you actually bother to check the data. It's all in how the product is designed. Sometimes a single point of failure is the only option but more often it is a choice rather than a necessity.

Green helmet (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45320133)

Hard to focus on flying when your helmet has a green glow

Re:Green helmet (1)

Bob_Who (926234) | about a year ago | (#45320169)

Hard to focus on flying when your helmet has a green glow

That's what I was thinking at the last Grateful Dead concert I attended. Trippy green glowing helmets can be distracting during flight!

Re:Green helmet (1)

EdIII (1114411) | about a year ago | (#45321269)

If you want some trippy shit try turning on the motion blur effect in VLC media player. If you're trashed, hammered, and unsure what reality actually is after Halloween, it gets very interesting with motion blur on.

1,000 mph, so what (1)

BringsApples (3418089) | about a year ago | (#45320189)

So the helmet is providing these signals throughout the whole flight, that they're up to 1,000 mph never has any weight in the article. I don't get it. It's a helmet, why test it in Florida if you're going to use it in England? And why scrap a project based on such a small problem? Much like the helmet, the article isn't clear. Maybe I'm blinded, too.

Re:1,000 mph, so what (1)

khallow (566160) | about a year ago | (#45320271)

Because the training facility is in Florida along with the helmets and airplanes.

Re:1,000 mph, so what (2)

JeffOwl (2858633) | about a year ago | (#45320465)

This isn't the first problem with the helmet. They aren't scrapping the helmet idea, just the one from BAE Systems. They are going with a helmet from a team of Rockwell Collins and Elbit.

Re:1,000 mph, so what (5, Interesting)

sjames (1099) | about a year ago | (#45320749)

TFA didn't explain the problem well enough. It's not some sort of malfunction that goes away when you punch reset. It's a design issue that happens any (and every) time it tries to display too much information at once. It's the light from the display that creates the problem, just like a TV lighting a darkened room.

The workaround is to display less information. Probably that would cause a political issue as someone's favorite kitchen sink gets relegated to the panel display.The open question: is it still useful once they remove enough displayed information to let the pilot see.

Re:1,000 mph, so what (1)

EdIII (1114411) | about a year ago | (#45321371)

With as much money is involved, I honestly don't understand why:

1) It's not done in the cockpit glass itself. We have the tech for that. Add a couple of Kinect like sensors and you can know where the pilot is looking to adjust the display. I'm not an expert, but I think that would account for the position of the pilot's eyes and what he is actually looking at. Perhaps an overlay on the pilot's dominant eye that is always transparent and only used to detect proper viewing angles. Heck, why not use Google Glass with the ability to get precise X,Y,Z coordinates relative to the display surfaces?

2) Graceful failure. Have a reset button that cuts all power to the display systems turning the glass transparent within moments. Boot up sequences only engage small areas of the surface before activating the whole system.

3) Redundancy. Split the cockpit in two sides replicating all displays on a single side if required during disaster recovery. Add two layers of display on each side. More information can be displayed while having redundancy and graceful failure. Only 25% of the system needs to be active in order for display functions to work (although at least a specific 50% would be required for dog fighting).

Re:1,000 mph, so what (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45321955)

Out of curiosity, how easily visible would that be from the outside? One benefit of doing it in the helmet is that the images are very small, which means that it is more difficult for others to see them. If you make the images larger then others can see them, especially if the cockpit-glass isn't TEMPEST-proof.

Re:1,000 mph, so what (1)

sjames (1099) | about a year ago | (#45322253)

HUD is currently projected onto a clear panel in front of the canopy. There is simply no way you are gong to fly close enough to the plane to see anything useful.

Re:1,000 mph, so what (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45323701)

1) It's not done in the cockpit glass itself.

because as a pilot you want to be using your eyes/head as a targeting aid which makes locking onto air targets easier.

Re:1,000 mph, so what (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45321387)

So what you're saying is the article sets a sensationalism record. "Blinded" when it is more like watching a mirror ball twirl. Sheesh. Who tests this crap?

Glitch caused Benny Hill reruns to show up (1)

JoeyRox (2711699) | about a year ago | (#45320233)

On their HUDs. Hard to fly at 1000 MPH when there's a horny old man chasing a blond in a miniskirt across your visor.

Re:Glitch caused Benny Hill reruns to show up (1)

EdIII (1114411) | about a year ago | (#45321379)

I think you're full of shit on this one. However, I really want to believe you, only because it would be so damn epic....

Re:Glitch caused Benny Hill reruns to show up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45321723)

Nah, it was actually Goatse.

Re:Glitch caused Benny Hill reruns to show up (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about a year ago | (#45321743)

So the pilots where blinded after they clawed their eyes out?

Wrong color (1)

Hamsterdan (815291) | about a year ago | (#45320285)

Amber CRTs are easier on the eyes...

Re:Wrong color (5, Funny)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#45320533)

Yeah, but it hurts your neck to strap the amber CRT to your head.

Re:Wrong color (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45320609)

Amber alerts on the other hand are harder on the sleep deprived.

http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/video/9170246-amber-alert-text-message-wakes-up-many-in-california/

Re:Wrong color (0)

EdIII (1114411) | about a year ago | (#45321401)

I question the wisdom of turning people's cell phones into emergency information networks like this.

Understanding myself, and user interface design, once you inundate the users with emergency messages that don't pertain to them they no longer have impact.

That is dangerous and counter productive to the goal in the first place. While it's incredibly tragic for parents to be dealing with something like that, it will just end up being ignored.

It's better for it to be rarely used at all, and with a lot more impact, than to be used often and probably ignored. I know that I ignore them at this point. Especially the ones not even in my state.

Re:Wrong color (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | about a year ago | (#45321435)

Uh huh, maybe people should have their phones go on silent during the night...

Re:Wrong color (1)

PPH (736903) | about a year ago | (#45320787)

If its 'information overload', perhaps they should be using color displays. It might be better to separate different information types or alert levels by color.

Re:Wrong color (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45321065)

I'll get off your lawn right this second sir.

Re:Wrong color (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45321385)

The human eye is most sensitive to the color green, it can can detect more shades than any other color.

Re:Wrong color (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | about a year ago | (#45322399)

Amber CRTs are easier on the eyes...

That's what I thought until I got into Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Everything looked yellow for a week.

Re:Wrong color (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45323217)

It (everything) would have looked blue after you tired out your red/green rods.

So What Did You Do Today? (1)

StarWreck (695075) | about a year ago | (#45320315)

So what did you do today?

Oh nothing, just flew 1000 MPH completely blind.

This is what happens when you (-1)

Tablizer (95088) | about a year ago | (#45320451)

...try to order ObamaCare while flying :-)

Re:This is what happens when you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45322219)

-1? Come on, it's just a lighthearted joke.

Slashdot loves murder machines (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45320477)

What next? We will get stories about the problems faced by specific serial killers or child abusers when they were last out seeking their latest victims?

The RAF exists to mass murder those that are attempting to defend their home nations. Those that join the RAF do so to INTENTIONALLY murder other Humans, and worse to be financially rewarded and 'praised' for doing so. The last major campaign of the RAF was in Libya. As Tony Blair's death squads attempted to sweep into every village, town and city, civilian males would organise defensive groups that set up road-blocks to 'encourage' Blair's terror teams to bypass their specific homes.

The main role of the RAF was to BUTCHER every civilian engaged in keeping Blair's forces out of their settlements. Every road-block designed to prevent Blair's terrorists from entering a town or village was an attack priority for the RAF. The RAF murdered tens of thousands of civilians across Libya, for the 'crime' of resisting Blair's invasion.

The RAF turned the most prosperous, stable and CIVILIAN friendly state in Africa to a hell-hole of localised extremist and criminal gang rule. The rights of women disappeared overnight. Freedom of Conscience disappeared likewise. Libya became another extremist recruiting ground for hopeless young males. Now such Libyans join Blair's terrorist mercenaries in wave after wave of attacks against Syria. If it wasn't for Putin, RAF war-criminals would be bombing Syria as I type.

But the owners of Slashdot think their dribbling readers will lionise those that dedicate their time and abilities to murdering other Humans. Are they right?

Dribbling slashdot serial killers .. :) (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45321321)

"What next? We will get stories about the problems faced by specific serial killers or child abusers .. the owners of Slashdot think their dribbling readers will lionise those that dedicate their time and abilities to murdering other Humans. Are they right?"

Insert ad hominem :)

The article looks fishy (4, Informative)

jcaplan (56979) | about a year ago | (#45320515)

So after reading the article, it was quite hard to tell whether the problem was information overload or a buggy display system. The relevant quote is:

âoeBut for now, thereâ(TM)s only so much data you can put in front of the pilotâ(TM)s eyes before it all merges, especially at night. He or she has got to take in information about their speed, altitude, dive and climb angles, and manage their fuel levels and weapons systems. Add images of the surrounding airspace and it all becomes too much. Essentially, the pilots were being blinded.â

The reporter seems to take the phrase "green glow" literally, rather than figuratively. The blinding referred to in the quote is information overload. The 1,000 mph figure seems merely illustrative, rather than a point at which the helmets suddenly malfunctioned. Information overload is a serious problem for pilots and must be considered in aircraft design, but this appears to be a case of poor design rather than the display failing in mid flight. Perhaps someone out there has better information.

Re:The article looks fishy (1)

codeusirae (3036835) | about a year ago | (#45321357)

"So after reading the article, it was quite hard to tell whether the problem was information overload or a buggy display system" ..

What's the difference ?

Re:The article looks fishy (1)

jcaplan (56979) | about a year ago | (#45321507)

The difference is in the type of defect. Information overload can be the result of a *design* defect, where the design specification doesn't adequately take into account how much data a trained pilot can absorb. (Alternately, it could be the result of inadequate pilot training.) A buggy display system is an *implementation* defect, where the display doesn't show what was intended by the programmers, such as the display showing a random bit pattern rather than fight data.

What did the video game programmers do (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45321141)

How did they limit sensory overload?

Useless and sensationalistic (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45321227)

I have flown with the current generation Joint Helmet Mounted Cuing System (JHMCS) not the F-35 system, but here is what I can tell you.

1- JHMCS has a one button HOTAS blanking. I am sure F-35 has the something similar. Which means if the symbology gets to be too much you can blank it with a single button push and you are back to a regular old airplane. With JHMCS you will be in a fighter with a HUD for backup, like F-15 or FA-18, while in F-35 you will have to rely on your head-down display, but the airplane keeps flying just fine at 150Kts, 500Kts, 1000kts. It really doesn't matter.

2- The article doesn't really address the fundamental problem. F-35 was designed for the helmet to be the primary flight reference (main instrument), and has no HUD. Like I said, I fly with JHMCS, and it is an awesome tool. The advantage of being able to point your weapon system wherever you look, and likewise have your weapon system point your eyes on target can not be overstated. That being said, it is not good enough to fly instruments. Pointing errors, alignment problems, finicky connectors, etc. are more than just trivial technical problems to be solved. Small shifts or changes in sitting height make minor (0.5 to 1 degree) pointing errors. I routinely adjust alignment at least 2 times a flight.

The decision to have no HUD was (as I understand) based on weight, and it was a bad one. We were putting HUDs+gyros in airplanes for a couple generations before we trusted the HUD alone to be the Primary Flight Reference. Should have done the same thing with helmets.

Re:Useless and sensationalistic (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45323553)

Lets be honest, the whole F-35 project has failure/error in design and decisions written all over it. The idea is nice but that says it all really.

I thank you for y0_ur time (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45321969)

AS POSSIBlE? HOW it there. Bring

Green Glow (1)

k31bang (672440) | about a year ago | (#45322329)

Soooo reading slashdot is just like flying 1000 mph?

Intersct at 1000mph (1)

rjejr (921275) | about a year ago | (#45322477)

There's a disclaimer right on the sunglasses that reads "Do not download the interesect while piloting your aircraft".

Terrifying! (1)

Madman (84403) | about a year ago | (#45323383)

I fly single engine propeller aircraft with a Vne (Velocity never exceed) of maybe 220mph, but cruising generally about 130mph. The idea of losing vision at that speed is pretty horrible, but at 1000mph it would be terrifying no matter how experienced or brave you are.

When Chuck Yeager was flying the X-1 one time his windows froze up and he could not see out, but at least he still had instruments and landed safely with the help of his chase plane. Not being able to actually see is a big level above that.

title of suck (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45324241)

/. Please,lease, please write better titles! I know you want people to read your articles, but this title looked like the pilot's eyesight was permanantly lost, not that there was a green glow making it hard to read.

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