In this question, I asked about a helmet with built-in HUD, and have a follow-up question:

What methods are used (or have been used) to perform head-tracking in the cockpit?

The website for that particular helmet (which I'm surprised exists like it does ... could I simply order one? doubt it ...) has the following (edit: here is additional information for that helmet):

High-speed tracker with a full-spherical Field of Regard(FOR); choice of Hybrid-Inertial or Magnetic tracker

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    $\begingroup$ Almost certainly an accelerometer - any other techniques would likely cause severe interference with existing aircraft systems $\endgroup$
    – JBithell
    Jul 2, 2016 at 8:38
  • $\begingroup$ Related: XinReality Head-mounted display $\endgroup$
    – mins
    Jul 2, 2016 at 11:52

2 Answers 2


Accelerometers are used, however for lower latency and higher definition, tracking infrared emitters is the better choice1.

The A-10 as you wrote uses inertial or magnetic trackers. The Eurofighter helmet uses infrared tracking.

enter image description here

... the Typhoon’s HMSS features lower latency, higher definition, improved symbology and night vision.

It's the one on the left (1source).

You can already see it has an organic brain of its own; those bumps are the IR LEDs for tracking.

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    $\begingroup$ Nice find! Also accelerometers alone wouldn't allow to know the orientation (and not sure about the position in flight) as they can't differentiate between static gravity and movement-generated acceleration. So they would be assisted by another system sensing the orientation related to Earth or the aircraft. When the helmet orientation would be known, then sensed accelerations can could be interpreted as a translation in some known direction to update the helmet position. $\endgroup$
    – mins
    Jul 3, 2016 at 0:09
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    $\begingroup$ @mins true, they would need to be paired with the plane's accelerometers, too much hassle if you ask me :D $\endgroup$
    – user14897
    Jul 4, 2016 at 16:59

The only reasonable method is accelerometer or gyro sensor, but not only one, about 3 of them to make precise tracking without any bugs, as the plane would tilt too, it would be reasonable to have acclereometers to calculate that too to make the exclusion of any bugs and unwanted tilts

  • $\begingroup$ "about 3 of them to make precise tracking", 3 are required because we live in a 3D space and accelerometers / rate gyros are usually sensing only on 1D. Having only one would be like having only cones of one type in our eyes. We would see the world partially and in gray shades. Here a LSM330DLC, a chip with 3 accelerometers and 3 gyroscopes combined. $\endgroup$
    – mins
    Jul 2, 2016 at 23:49
  • $\begingroup$ What i meant is 3 diferent chips, in diferent superficies of the helment to make absolutely precise tracking, one chip can always interfer with some noise or unwanted bugs, you can take by example a simple smartphone that has bug like once a 1 minute $\endgroup$
    – Dan Boyko
    Jul 3, 2016 at 0:28
  • $\begingroup$ That isn't the typical use of the word "bug". This, and other words/phrases, make your explanation difficult to interpret. $\endgroup$
    – Steve
    Jan 7, 2018 at 21:07

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