Notes on a Collimated System

Design and Optimization for Ellipsoid Back Projection Screen of Collimated Display System in Flight Simulator – Beijing Institute of Technology; Bin, Lin and Qi-yue

Few have attempted most likely due to the complexity of the system.

Not offered (to purchase) outside a Level-D commercial turnkey solution because of the SEOS Displays Limited (now Rockwell Collins) patents.

Doesn’t stop you from trying to make one yourself! The first DIY collimated system was implemented by Gene and Wayne in 2010.

Design and Optimization for Ellipsoid Back Projection Screen of Collimated Display System in Flight Simulator – Beijing Institute of Technology; Bin, Lin and Qi-yue

Screen (collimated mirror)

Size of the mylar mirror dependant on what is readily available – for DIY, 1.37 m (54″) is the largest width at reasonable prices

Shape must be spherical to be able to collimate light

Large mylar used on commercial jet simulators (B737/A320) because of their FOV requirements (200 degrees x 40 degrees vertical); mirror radius of 3 m (10-foot)

Screen usually made out of three segments (petals)

Mylar is taped or attached to the screen. Attachment mouldings increases horizontal tension reducing distortion of the mirror film edges.

Two principal methods used to construct thin film mirrors.
Temporary chamber extensions are removed after the thin plastics film has been stretched to the required shape

Method of Constructing a Thin Film Mirror – Temporary chamber extensions; US Patent 6,050,692

– Mechanical stretching device forces the mirror film edge to take up the required shape

End Retract Device for Completing Spherically Shaped Reflective Film; US Patent 4,592,717


Canopy (projection screen)

Sits above the flightdeck

Shape must be ellipsoid

Image usually back projected

Back Projection Canopy (source – mycockpit.org)

Mirror Controller Unit

Collimated mirror formed by a vacuum

The depth of mirror feedbacks into a controller unit (measured by an infrared or ultrasonic detector)

Mirror Controller Unit regulates a butterfly air valve

The controller unit attaches to the back of the centre petal screen

A limit switch turns off the vacuum

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