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Multisensory Integration for Pilot Spatial Orientation

Award Information

Department of Defense
Air Force
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2003 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
NTI, Inc.
927 Fred Johnston Drive Fairborn, OH -
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2003
Title: Multisensory Integration for Pilot Spatial Orientation
Agency / Branch: DOD / USAF
Contract: F33615-03-M-6370
Award Amount: $99,996.00


Spatial disorientation (SD) contributes up to 30% of all Class A mishaps in the United States Air Force. Type I SD mishaps occur because pilots do not attend to or misread primary flight information from their cockpit displays. The inability of currentdisplays to provide pilots with intuitive and preconscious (ambient) information concerning the aircraft's attitude is believed to be responsible for the attention overload and processing failures that result in Type I SD. Several technologies have beenproposed to improve the quality and naturalness of orientation information in the cockpit, including peripheral visual displays, 3-D audio, and tactile cueing. However, very few empirical data exist concerning the efficacy of these technologies inisolation, and none exist concerning their efficacy in combination. A comprehensive methodology is proposed for evaluating each display's controllability, attention demands, ability to overcome motion conflict, and effectiveness in unusual attituderecovery. The basic evaluation algorithms will be developed in Phase I, while the evaluation of candidate displays will be conducted in Phase II. A primary benefit from the Phase I effort will include an evaluation methodology that can be used to assessthe effectiveness of multisensory technologies planned for advanced fighter aircraft cockpits. These technologies include helmet-mounted displays, 3-D localized audio, and tactile situation awareness systems. This product may also have commercialapplications that include general aviation aircraft. In addition, given the increased use of virtual environments for training purposes, and wearable computers as navigation aids and aids for the handicapped, it is likely that situation awareness andorientation displays can be evaluated for commercial applications, using the same or similar technology. The Phase II effort should result specific recommendations for displays and types of displays that will be particularly effective for each of theabove applications.

Principal Investigator:

Samuel Moise
Senior Program Scientist

Business Contact:

Beth A. Barker
Corporate Secretary
Small Business Information at Submission:

5200 Springfield Pike, Suite 119 Dayton, OH 45431

EIN/Tax ID: 311191290
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No