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Proceedings Paper

Correlations among the helicopter pilot's head azimuth, elevation, and tilt in visual flight and their implications for incorporating roll compensation in the HMD
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Paper Abstract

The literature describes the opt-kinetic cervical reflex (OKCR) as potentially contributing to episodes of spatial disorientation and dangerous control input reversal errors. The OKCR is described as a reflex tilting of a pilot’s head that occurs when an aircraft banks and turns under visual meteorological conditions. The implication is that with the aircraft’s banking turn, the horizon appears to the pilot to bank in the opposite directions. This banking of the horizon relative to the pilot is thought to cause the pilot’s head to tilt in order to be perpendicular to the horizon. This OKCR head tilting phenomenon may be important for the design of the head mounted display systems since these systems may be referenced to either the tilting head or the aircraft. The choice is particularly important for the display of aircraft attitude information, which is most commonly referenced to the horizon. The present paper describes an alternative explanation for the observed head tilting behavior of the pilot in a banking turn. This explanation is based on the analysis of an archived database containing the head movement records of four military pilots as they executed a slalom flight maneuver in an AH Mk 7 Lynx helicopter. These data had been collected for purposes unrelated to the present discussion, and previous analyses addressing these original purposed have already been reported. In addition to the description of the new model based on the archived database, the present paper used some results previously published in the literature to compare the new explanation and the tradition OKCR explanation of the observed head tilting behavior of pilots. A clarification of the mechanisms responsible for the observed head tilt phenomena is important for the design of the head mountedinformational display systems.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 May 2005
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 5800, Helmet- and Head-Mounted Displays X: Technologies and Applications, (19 May 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.602923
Show Author Affiliations
Leonard A. Temme, U.S. Army Aeromedical Research Lab. (United States)
David L. Still, UES, Inc. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5800:
Helmet- and Head-Mounted Displays X: Technologies and Applications
Clarence E. Rash; Colin E. Reese, Editor(s)

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