A PICTORIAL DISPLAY FOR COMPUTED NAVIGATION DATA

J. L. Denis

Peer Reviewed

Abstract: In recent years, as aircraft performance has increased, accompanied by requirements for improved navigational and steering accuracies, the crew workload requirements have escalated alarmingly. Undoubtedly an ever increasing portion of this workload has been assumed by a multiplicity of small computers, and, in the equipment now being designed, almost all data will be sensed directly and processed by one or more large capacity digital computers. Yet it is this very quality of modern computers, namely the ability to process large quantities of data very rapidly, that is creating a new problem. For the new problem is the control, interpretation, and display of the output of these computers to the crew member, in this case the navigator, which presents a major problem for today's navigation system designer. In any aircraft operating over long ranges, the greatest single navigation problem is that of determining position from various sources of information such as a DR plot, stellar fixes, radax fixes, LORAN and TACAN fixes. The problem is greatly magnified when the aircraft is required, after long periods of DR navigation, to perform accurate close support or aerial delivery operations. The technical capability of self-contained and externally referenced sensors to provide positional information is reasonably well established within defined limits of accuracy. The real problem lies in the display of this information in such a way as to make possible the ready interpretation and comparison of all these various sources of information, thus providing the operator with an effective monitoring capability. Traditionally, if there is indeed a tradition in this field, the information has been presented on numerical counters in terms of latitude and longitude, grid coordinates, time differences or range and bearing, depending on the degree to which the data has been processed. Even in cases where there is a physical readout of difference data, the problem remains of asimilating and assessing the'value and validity of data usually reference to another source of information via a map, chart, or stored data of some kind is necessary. If all the information discussed above were presented simultaneously on numerical counters, the navigator would be faced with a somewhat indigestible multiplicity of digital read-outs. On the other hand, if all the same information could be presented simultaneously in graphical form in a familiar frame of reference, the problem of assimilation and assessment becomes simple. The Projected Data Display (PDD) accomplishes this pictorial integration and confers additional advantages on the operator, which are discussed in detail in the text. A typical PDD layout is shown in Fig. 1.
Published in: NAVIGATION, Journal of the Institute of Navigation, Volume 13, Number 1
Pages: 71 - 79
Cite this article: Denis, J. L., "A PICTORIAL DISPLAY FOR COMPUTED NAVIGATION DATA", NAVIGATION, Journal of The Institute of Navigation, Vol. 13, No. 1, Spring 1966, pp. 71-79.
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