DARPA Develops Infantry Helmet Heads Up Display


Urban Leader Tactical Response, Awareness and VisualizationThe Pentagon’s research arm has developed a prototype designed to give grunts the same type of tactical helmet displays enjoyed by fighter pilots.

“It’s like a pilot’s heads-up display” for troops in the field, said Yiftach Eisenberg a program manager for Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The program is called Urban Leader Tactical Response, Awareness and Visualization program, or Ultra-Vis.

The eyepiece of the prototype helmet has been designed to overlay full-color iconography onto the scene in a soldier’s line of sight, giving constant grid coordinates and elevation. It also offers the location of friendly forces, vehicles, and aircraft in the vicinity.

“It’s all about heads-up situational awareness,” said Eisenberg, a program manager for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

Information from overhead drones can also be fed into the display, along with potential locations of enemy forces and safe navigation routes, Eisenberg said.

“It enables the soldier to understand where all those things are,” Eisenberg said, and “the information is right in front of you and not out of your field of view.”

“It enables the operator to keep his head up. He doesn’t have to stop and take out other gear” to get access to the information, Eisenberg said.

Ultra-Vis is a joint project of Applied Research Associates and BAE Systems. The price of a unit would depend on the quantity ordered, but the intent was to keep the cost below $10,000, an industry official said.

The helmet display prototype was among more than 100 projects and 29 advanced research programs on display in the Pentagon’s courtyard Wednesday in what was billed as DARPA Demo Day.

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