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Proceedings Paper

Effect on real-world depth perception from exposure to heads-down stereoscopic flight displays
Author(s): Anthony M. Busquets; Steven P. Williams; Russell V. Parrish
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Paper Abstract

The application of stereopsis (true depth) cuing to advanced heads-down flight display concepts offers potential gains in pilot situation awareness and improved task performance, but little attention has been focused on a fundamental issue involving their use. The goal of this research was to determine whether or not the short-term use of heads-down stereoscopic displays in flight applications would degrade the real-world depth perception of pilots using such displays. Stereoacuity tests are traditionally used to measure the real-world depth perception of a subject. This study used such a test as part of the experimental protocol. Eight transport pilots flew repeated simulated landing approaches using both non-stereo and stereo 3-D heads-down pathway-in-the-sky displays. At the decision height of each approach, the pilots transitioned to a stereoacuity test using real objects rather than a two-dimensional target test apparatus. Statistical analysis of stereoacuity measures (averaged over pilots and replicates), comparing a control condition of no-exposure to any electronic flight display with the transition data from non-stereo and stereopsis displays, revealed no significant differences for any of the conditions. Clearly, transitioning from short-term exposure to a heads-down stereopsis display has no more effect on realworld depth perception (based on stereoacuity) than transitioning from a non-stereo display. However, depth perception effects based on size and distance judgements, and long-term exposure remain issues to be investigated.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 September 1990
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 1256, Stereoscopic Displays and Applications, (1 September 1990); doi: 10.1117/12.19888
Show Author Affiliations
Anthony M. Busquets, NASA/Langley Research Ctr. (United States)
Steven P. Williams, NASA/Langley Research Ctr. (United States)
Russell V. Parrish, NASA/Langley Research Ctr. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1256:
Stereoscopic Displays and Applications
John O. Merritt; Scott S. Fisher, Editor(s)

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