Effects of image intensifier halo on perceived layout

James E. Zacher, Tracey Brandwood, Paul Thomas, Margarita Vinnikov, Gancun Xu, Sion Jennings, Todd Macuda, Stephen A. Palmisano, Greg Craig, Laurie Wilcox, Robert S. Allison

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations


Night vision devices (NVDs) or night-vision goggles (NVGs) based on image intensifies improve nighttime visibility and extend night operations for military and increasingly civil aviation. However, NVG imagery is not equivalent to daytime vision and impaired depth and motion perception has been noted. One potential cause of impaired perceptions of space and environmental layout is NVG halo, where bright light sources appear to be surrounded by a disc-like halo. In this study we measured the characteristics of NVG halo psychophysically and objectively and then evaluated the influence of halo on perceived environmental layout in a simulation experiment. Halos are generated in the device and are not directly related to the spatial layout of the scene. We found that, when visible, halo image (i.e. angular) size was only weakly dependent on both source intensity and distance although halo intensity did vary with effective source intensity. The size of halo images surrounding lights sources are independent of the source distance and thus do not obey the normal laws of perspective. In simulation experiments we investigated the effect of NVG halo on judgements of observer attitude with respect to the ground during simulated flight. We discuss the results in terms of NVG design and of the ability of human operators to compensate for perceptual distortions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHead- and Helmet-Mounted Displays XII
Subtitle of host publicationDesign and Applications
StatePublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes
EventHead- and Helmet-Mounted Displays XII: Design and Applications - Orlando, FL, United States
Duration: Apr 10 2007Apr 11 2007

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


ConferenceHead- and Helmet-Mounted Displays XII: Design and Applications
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityOrlando, FL

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Depth perception
  • Halo
  • Human factors
  • Layout
  • Night vision devices
  • Perspective
  • Slant


Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of image intensifier halo on perceived layout'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this