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Proceedings Paper

Validation of an explanatory tool for data-fused displays for high-technology future aircraft
Author(s): Georgina C. L. Fletcher; Craig R. Shanks; Stephen J. Selcon
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Paper Abstract

As the number of sensor and data sources in the military cockpit increases, pilots will suffer high levels of workload which could result in reduced performance and the loss of situational awareness. A DRA research program has been investigating the use of data-fused displays in decision support and has developed and laboratory-tested an explanatory tool for displaying information in air combat scenarios. The tool has been designed to provide pictorial explanations of data that maintain situational awareness by involving the pilot in the hostile aircraft threat assessment task. This paper reports a study carried out to validate the success of the explanatory tool in a realistic flight simulation facility. Aircrew were asked to perform a threat assessment task, either with or without the explanatory tool providing information in the form of missile launch success zone envelopes, while concurrently flying a waypoint course within set flight parameters. The results showed that there was a significant improvement (p less than 0.01) in threat assessment accuracy of 30% when using the explanatory tool. This threat assessment performance advantage was achieved without a trade-off with flying task performance. Situational awareness measures showed no general differences between the explanatory and control conditions, but significant learning effects suggested that the explanatory tool makes the task initially more intuitive and hence less demanding on the pilots' attentional resources. The paper concludes that DRA's data-fused explanatory tool is successful at improving threat assessment accuracy in a realistic simulated flying environment, and briefly discusses the requirements for further research in the area.

Paper Details

Date Published: 30 May 1996
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 2734, Cockpit Displays III, (30 May 1996); doi: 10.1117/12.241015
Show Author Affiliations
Georgina C. L. Fletcher, Defence Research Agency Farnborough (United Kingdom)
Craig R. Shanks, Defence Research Agency Farnborough (United Kingdom)
Stephen J. Selcon, Defence Research Agency Farnborough (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2734:
Cockpit Displays III
Darrel G. Hopper, Editor(s)

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