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Proceedings Paper

Perception-based synthetic cueing for night vision device rotorcraft hover operations
Author(s): Edward N. Bachelder; Duane McRuer
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Paper Abstract

Helicopter flight using night-vision devices (NVDs) is difficult to perform, as evidenced by the high accident rate associated with NVD flight compared to day operation. The approach proposed in this paper is to augment the NVD image with synthetic cueing, whereby the cues would emulate position and motion and appear to be actually occurring in physical space on which they are overlaid. Synthetic cues allow for selective enhancement of perceptual state gains to match the task requirements. A hover cue set was developed based on an analogue of a physical target used in a flight handling qualities tracking task, a perceptual task analysis for hover, and fundamentals of human spatial perception. The display was implemented on a simulation environment, constructed using a virtual reality device, an ultrasound head-tracker, and a fixed-base helicopter simulator. Seven highly trained helicopter pilots were used as experimental subjects and tasked to maintain hover in the presence of aircraft positional disturbances while viewing a synthesized NVD environment and the experimental hover cues. Significant performance improvements were observed when using synthetic cue augmentation. This paper demonstrates that artificial magnification of perceptual states through synthetic cueing can be an effective method of improving night-vision helicopter hover operations.

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 August 2002
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 4711, Helmet- and Head-Mounted Displays VII, (5 August 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.478888
Show Author Affiliations
Edward N. Bachelder, Systems Technology, Inc. (United States)
Duane McRuer, Systems Technology, Inc. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4711:
Helmet- and Head-Mounted Displays VII
Clarence E. Rash; Colin E. Reese, Editor(s)

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