Overview:

NASA is interested in a hybrid of head-mounted display (HMD) and heads-up display (HUD) technologies, referred to as “Heads-in” Displays. As the virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) industries are making large investments in the development of near-to-eye displays and visual tracking technologies for applications such as gaming, sports medicine, entertainment, automated vehicles, etc. NASA is interested in evaluating these technologies for in-helmet use during Extravehicular Activities (EVAs). The Heads-In Display must work inside a spacesuit without being cumbersome and must be optimized for the proximity of the helmet bubble to the crewmember’s eyes.

NASA is interesed in a hybrid of head-mounted display and heads-up display technologies, referred to as 'Heads-in' Displays.Click To Tweet

Background:

The virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) industries are making large investments in the development of near-to-eye displays and visual tracking technologies. Applications of these technologies appear in multiple fields (gaming, sports medicine, entertainment, automated vehicles, etc.), but often fall into one of two categories: head-mounted displays (HMDs) or heads-up displays (HUDs). For the purposes of Extravehicular Activities (EVAs), NASA is interested in a unique hybrid of these technologies which we are referring to as “Heads-in” Displays.

“Heads-In” display technology is constrained by the environment of the spacesuit, which is not able to handle high-powered hardware on a crewmember’s head in an oxygen-dominated atmosphere. Also, most standard HUD designs would not support the proximity of the helmet bubble to the crewmember’s eyes in a spacesuit. The dynamic, loud, sometimes wet, and 100% oxygen environment of the helmet bubble is another challenge of any potential “heads-in” displays.

As AR/VR helmets become lighter, more efficient, and include advanced features such as eye tracking, NASA is interested in understanding how this technology can be used in space.

Required:

  • High resolution
  • Eye relief (the distance from the physical surface of the display optics to the pupil of the eye): at least 25 mm, with a max of 12 inches
  • Power: <15 watts for display only
  • Mass: Lens display when scaled to meet the needs of the suit should be < 5 lbs
  • Must be transparent or compatible with transparent surface

 

Desired:

  • Field of view (FOV): minimum 45° diagonal, prefer 120° diagonal
  • Eye tracking
  • Head tracking
  • Adjustable luminance

 

Possible Solution Areas:

  • Augmented reality (AR)
  • Virtual Reality (VR)
  • AR/VR for sports
  • Novel display technology
  • Flexible displays
  • Retinal projection

 

Desired outcome of the solution:

Looking for partners who are willing to partner in the development of “heads-in display” technology for space applications.

Field of use and intended applications:

Helmet displays for aerospace Extravehicular Activities (EVAs)