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Proceedings Paper

Human performance evaluation of a pathway HMD
Author(s): Bernd Lorenz; Helmut Tobben; Sven Schmerwitz
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Paper Abstract

Head-up displays (HUD) and helmet (or head)-mounted displays (HMD) aim at reducing the pilot's visual scanning cost in support of concurrent monitoring of both instrument information (near domain) and the outside environment (far domain). An HMD used in combination with a head tracker enables the assessment of the pilot’s head direction in real time allowing symbologies to remain spatially linked to elements of the outside environment. The paper examines the potential added benefits of improved flight path tracking to be expected by displaying symbologies of a virtual 3D perspective pathway plus predictor information on an HMD. Results of a high-fidelity flight-simulation experiment are reported that involved a series of curved approaches supported with such a pathway HMD. The study used a monocular retinal-scanning HMD and involved 18 pilots. Dependent human performance data were derived from flight path tracking measures, subjective measures of mental workload and situation awareness and pilot reactions in response to an unexpected rare event in the outside scene (intruding aircraft on the active runway for the intended landing). Comparison with a standard head-down ILS baseline condition revealed a mix of performance costs and benefits, which is consistent with most of the human factors literature on the general use of HUDs and of HUDs used in combination with pathway guidance: The pathway HMD promoted substantially better flight path tracking but caused also a delayed response to the unexpected event. This effect points to some disadvantages of HUDs referred to as 'attention capture', which may become exaggerated by the additional use of pathway guidance symbology.

Paper Details

Date Published: 25 May 2005
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 5802, Enhanced and Synthetic Vision 2005, (25 May 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.603280
Show Author Affiliations
Bernd Lorenz, German Aerospace Center (DLR) (Germany)
Helmut Tobben, German Aerospace Center (DLR) (Germany)
Sven Schmerwitz, German Aerospace Center (DLR) (Germany)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5802:
Enhanced and Synthetic Vision 2005
Jacques G. Verly, Editor(s)

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