BAE Systems in Rochester yesterday opened its doors to the press to provide an insight into some of its new technology including its helmet mounted displays (HMDs) and head up displays (HUDs).
The Rochester site employs over 1,500 staff and provides solutions to a number of markets from defence to transport, including products for low carbon buses for Transport for London.
HMDs have been developed at the site since the 1970s and BAE Systems is currently producing four different products which include the “Jag” sight, the Q-sight 100/150, the Striker, and the Q-sight 2000.
Speaking about the striker helmet, Product manager Alex Cameron said: “It is a two-part helmet designed for comfort, performance and protection. It provides high accuracy with minimal latency.” The Striker is currently in service on the Eurofighter Typhoon and Saab Gripen.
The Q-sight 2000 uses optical waveguide technology which was developed at the Rochester site and has been selected for use in the F-35.
All helmets have optical helmet tracking and this allows the pilot to pick out waypoints and targets with the click of a button when looking in their direction. Mr Cameron described the helmet tracking system as “the difference between a robust display and a loose display”.
As well as HMDs, the Rochester site produces HUDs and was the first site to build both digital and holographic HUDs.
One of its most recent products is the LiteHUD. “A lot of work has been done in the cockpit of a fast jet to make things easier for the pilot and HUDs take up a lot of space. The LiteHUD has been developed for the modern fast jet cockpit but is still high resolution with low latency and is fully digital,” said Alex Cameron.