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Proceedings Paper

Designing an obstacle display for helicopter operations in degraded visual environment
Author(s): Patrizia M. Knabl; Niklas Peinecke
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Paper Abstract

Flying in degraded visual environment is an extremely challenging task for a helicopter pilot. The loss of the outside visual reference causes impaired situation awareness, high workload and spatial disorientation leading to incidents like obstacle or ground hits. DLR is working on identifying ways to reduce this problem by providing the pilot with additional information from fused sensor data. Therefore, different display design solutions were developed. In a first study, the design focused on the use of a synthetic head-down display, considering different representations for obstacles, color coding and terrain features. Results show a subjective preference for the most detailed obstacle display, while objective results reveal better performance for the little less detailed display. In a second study, symbology for a helmet-mounted display was designed and evaluated in a part-task simulation. Design considerations focused on different obstacle representations as well as attentional and perceptual aspects associated with the use of helmet-mounted displays. Results show consistent findings to the first experiment, indicating that the display subjectively favored does not necessarily contribute to the best performance in detection. However when additional tasks have to be performed the level of clutter seems to impair the ability to respond correctly to secondary tasks. Thus the favored display type nonetheless seems to be the most promising solution since it is accompanied by the overall best objective results integrating both detection of obstacles and the ability to perform additional tasks.

Paper Details

Date Published: 14 March 2013
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 8651, Human Vision and Electronic Imaging XVIII, 865111 (14 March 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2004143
Show Author Affiliations
Patrizia M. Knabl, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V. (Germany)
Niklas Peinecke, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V. (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8651:
Human Vision and Electronic Imaging XVIII
Bernice E. Rogowitz; Thrasyvoulos N. Pappas; Huib de Ridder, Editor(s)

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