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Proceedings Paper

Simulation evaluation of equivalent vision technologies for aerospace operations
Author(s): Lynda J. Kramer; Steven P. Williams; Susan J. Wilz; Jarvis (Trey) J. Arthur
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Paper Abstract

A fixed-based simulation experiment was conducted in NASA Langley Research Center's Integration Flight Deck simulator to investigate enabling technologies for equivalent visual operations (EVO) in the emerging Next Generation Air Transportation System operating environment. EVO implies the capability to achieve or even improve on the safety of current-day Visual Flight Rules (VFR) operations, maintain the operational tempos of VFR, and perhaps even retain VFR procedures-all independent of the actual weather and visibility conditions. Twenty-four air transport-rated pilots evaluated the use of Synthetic/Enhanced Vision Systems (S/EVS) and eXternal Vision Systems (XVS) technologies as enabling technologies for future all-weather operations. The experimental objectives were to determine the feasibility of XVS/SVS/EVS to provide for all weather (visibility) landing capability without the need (or ability) for a visual approach segment and to determine the interaction of XVS/EVS and peripheral vision cues for terminal area and surface operations. Another key element of the testing investigated the pilot's awareness and reaction to non-normal events (i.e., failure conditions) that were unexpectedly introduced into the experiment. These non-normal runs served as critical determinants in the underlying safety of all-weather operations. Experimental data from this test are cast into performance-based approach and landing standards which might establish a basis for future all-weather landing operations. Glideslope tracking performance appears to have improved with the elimination of the approach visual segment. This improvement can most likely be attributed to the fact that the pilots didn't have to simultaneously perform glideslope corrections and find required visual landing references in order to continue a landing. Lateral tracking performance was excellent regardless of the display concept being evaluated or whether or not there were peripheral cues in the side window. Although workload ratings were significantly less when peripheral cues were present compared to when there were none, these differences appear to be operationally inconsequential. Larger display concepts tested in this experiment showed significant situation awareness (SA) improvements and workload reductions compared to smaller display concepts. With a fixed display size, a color display was more influential in SA and workload ratings than a collimated display.

Paper Details

Date Published: 30 April 2009
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 7328, Enhanced and Synthetic Vision 2009, 732803 (30 April 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.815482
Show Author Affiliations
Lynda J. Kramer, NASA Langley Research Ctr. (United States)
Steven P. Williams, NASA Langley Research Ctr. (United States)
Susan J. Wilz, NASA Langley Research Ctr. (United States)
Jarvis (Trey) J. Arthur, NASA Langley Research Ctr. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7328:
Enhanced and Synthetic Vision 2009
Jeff J. Güell; Maarten Uijt de Haag, Editor(s)

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