None of the currently available commercial flight simulators provide 3D stereo imagery to the pilot. For a jet airplane that is acceptable, if it ever gets close enough to the environment for 3D stereo to matter, the pilot already did it wrong. However, for helicopter pilots, the situation is very different. Especially the challenging tasks of emergency medical or law enforcement pilots require them to very quickly make the life and death situation whether they can land in the available space or not. Therefore the efficiency of flight simulators for helicopter pilot training is much more reduced than for airplane pilot training.
The EAC, in collaboration with Micoy Corp., has developed a fundamentally different image generator system that can generate omni-directionally correct 3D stereo, i.e. stereo that is correct in any direction the user is looking, and not just straight ahead as in regular 3D movies or Virtual Reality systems, which allows both pilot and co-pilot to have direction-independent stereo, and does not require head-tracking. The challenge here is to make this method work fast enough for flight simulation, as it is based on Ray Tracing, a technology for high quality images that usually is used for feature animation.
Using Ray Tracing also allows the system to generate higher quality imagery by enabling effects such as highly accurate shadows, correct reflections, including in curved surfaces, as well as accurate day and night-time lighting.
Flight simulation has never been this immersive!
Download a one page project sheet here: 360 Degree Stereo Helicopter Flight Simulator Project Sheet
Members: Dirk Reiners, Carsten Neumann, Carolina Cruz-Neira