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Proceedings Paper

Training pilots to visualize large-scale spatial relationships in a stereoscopic display
Author(s): Lyn Mowafy; Richard A. Thurman
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Paper Abstract

In flying air intercepts, a fighter pilot must plan most tactical maneuvers well before acquiring visual contact. Success depends on one's ability to create an accurate mental model of dynamic 3D spatial relationships from 2D information displays. This paper describes an Air Force training program for visualizing large- scale dynamic spatial relationships. It employs a low-cost, portable system in which the helmet-mounted stereoscopic display reveals the unobservable spatial relationships in a virtual world. We also describe recent research which evaluated the training effectiveness of this interactive three-dimensional display technology. Three display formats have been tested for their impact on the pilot's ability to encode, retain and recall functionally relevant spatial information: (1) a set of 2D orthographic plan views, (2) a flat panel 3D perspective rendering and, (3) the 3D virtual environment. Trainees flew specified air intercepts and reviewed the flights in one of the display formats. Experts' trajectories were provided for comparison. After training, flight performance was tested on a new set of scenarios. Differences in pilots' performances under the three formats suggest how virtual environment displays can aid people learning to visualize 3D spatial relationships from 2D information.

Paper Details

Date Published: 23 September 1993
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 1915, Stereoscopic Displays and Applications IV, (23 September 1993); doi: 10.1117/12.157044
Show Author Affiliations
Lyn Mowafy, NASA (United States)
Richard A. Thurman, Air Force Armstrong Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1915:
Stereoscopic Displays and Applications IV
John O. Merritt; Scott S. Fisher, Editor(s)

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