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Gideon Yampolsky

HUD dashboard development

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I’m planning to make HUD dashboard for wingsuit flight. IMO, most important information to display is vertical and horizontal [ground] speed and airspeed. It will also be nice to know glide ratio and altitude. Flysight cannot read aloud so much information, so it should be displayed visually.

There are several options for implementation, and I’m wondering if somebody already tried and have insights what the best option would be. The optimal solution IMO is to take smart glasses display (Vufine+ for example) and connect it to smartphone running one of paraglider’s or airplane dashboard applications. So GPS and barometer readings will be made by smartphone, converted to visual readings by application (Aircraft Cockpit Demo for example) and transmitted to smart glass display to be seen during wingsuit flight.

There are other options, including Epson Moverio for display, Arduino for hardware, and developing application software from scratch.

If somebody has experience or opinion, please share.

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i wouldn't think the smartphone would sample enough to be accurate at freefall speed, but have not looked into it.  the reason i mention it is because i am working on using a raspberry pi, gps, and altimeter module to make a logbook/altimeter with a small display screen.  it seems that if it were to be practical, it should have an audible also, maybe bluetooth or other nfc type communication to a speaker?  i need to check those links to find out why they stopped it, maybe it will save me some aggravation.

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Smartphones do not sample fast enough to be useful for our application. There are already several smartphone applications for skydiving that show altitude and all that stuff. None of them are really accurate, at least not compared to a FlySight.

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(edited)

Smartphone GPS is limited to 1Hz rate. But accuracy also matters and in newer phones accuracy is better. Also it is possible to connect external GPS, which can sample at 10Hz rate.
I would like to test some existing applications for a start. Are there any applications you recommend ?

 

Edited by Gideon Yampolsky

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I've done this using Google Glass and it works well. I'm the developer of BASEline Flight Computer, so it was fairly easy to port the Android app to Google Glass. You can find used Glass on ebay for around $400.

glass.jpg.c3fa423fcf6981a5a32beb47bae43cca.jpg

As you mentioned, the advantage of a HUD is that you can see horizontal speed, vertical speed, total speed, and glide ratio all at once, and with much faster update than you could ever get with audio. I personally chose to display your speed as a "polar chart". Horizontal and vertical speeds on the axes, total speed equals the hypotenuse, and glide is shown by the slope:
glass.png.43a09df864a04a42b0b49d21544348ac.png
To get good data, pair the phone with a bluetooth GPS like the XGPS160.

Let me know if I can help with anything. I would love for this to exist! But I don't expect most people to deal with google glass. If interested, the google glass version of BASEline is available on a github branch: https://github.com/platypii/BASElineFlightComputer/tree/glass

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(edited)

Nice to meet you. BASEline is cool application and porting it to Google Glass creates excellent instrument for wingsuit.

I decided to take somewhat different implementation path, which allows me more flexibility in selection of proper application.  Application will run on smartphone while smart glasses will be used only for display. There are several available displays, for example Vufine+ and Epson Moverio. I think Vufine is the best match, because it less obscuring peripheral vision.

With this hardware setup I can try several available applications to find the best match.

I ordered Vufine display yesterday, $200 new on Amazon.

In recent days I played with several applications (still without Vufine). I tried Aircraft Cockpit, GoFly and BASEline.  For first impression I simply drive the car up and down the hill, which was sufficient to create vertical and horizontal displacement for GPS of my Galaxy S8.  Here are my findings:

All 3 applications provided reliable real-time data.

Aircraft Cockpit

Pros: very aesthetic dashboard, clear readings, easy to understand during the flight.

Cons: Out of 6 displayed instruments, only 3 are relevant (HS, VS and ALT). Altimeter is absolute, not relatively to ground and cannot be preset. No glide ratio. Maximum of VS scale is 10 m/s, insufficient for wingsuit, unless you are flying CR+ :-). VS scale limitation is major drawback, rendering this app useless for wingsuit.

GoFly

Dedicated for paragliding.

Pros: displays all relevant information: HS, VS, Glide, ALT. Can be configured (through Android display settings) in the manner that relevant information will be dominant on the display screen.

Cons: readings are ugly, not arranged well on the screen, require focused concentration to grasp.

Overall a good candidate for wingsuit flight.

BASEline

Pros: dedicated for wingsuit. Displays all relevant information. Also displays additional information which (for me) may be relevant in future.

Cons: readings are not clear. In NAV screen they occupy small rectangle. Attempt to increase font size through Android display settings make readings truncated. In ALTI screen readings are too small and cannot be resized.

I’m planning to use this app first when Vufine display will arrive.

Clarification about emphasis on readings clearness

To avoid obscuring of peripheral vision, display should be located on eye’s edge, so it would be almost out of view when person is looking straight forward. Eyeball movement and refocus is required to check readings. In this case small, poorly arranged readings will require significant attention, affecting usability.
It will work properly only if user can catch information in brief glance.

Edited by Gideon Yampolsky

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if i were you i would ditch the smartphone part and use a raspberry pi zero.  it already has bluetooth and wifi built in and you can attach the modules to it directly and get much more accurate sampling.  you can use the gps module and the altimeter module so that you can combine everything you are doing with the hud and add a logbook function as well.  add in a small lcd display and you have a wrist altimeter that does all of this while sending output to the glass for the hud.  i am actually working on all of the stuff except the hud, but i ran out of season to test the stuff. 

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Maybe I will end-up with RPi, but meanwhile seems that smartphone applications are working pretty well. Their accuracy is better than mine ability to exploit accuracy advantage :-)
But presently all tests I did were by car running up/down the hill, not sure it represents well enough wingsuit flight conditions. I’m awaiting for HUD arrival to test these applications in real flight.

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On 12/3/2019 at 3:46 AM, Gideon Yampolsky said:

In ALTI screen readings are too small and cannot be resized.

Just released a new version of BASEline tonight that will scale text with the android system font size. Thanks for the feedback.

Keep us posted on your project!

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