Multisensory Integration for Pilot Spatial Orientation

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: F33615-03-M-6370
Agency Tracking Number: F031-0353
Amount: $99,996.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2003
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
5200 Springfield Pike, Suite 119, Dayton, OH, 45431
DUNS: 175329382
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Samuel Moise
 Senior Program Scientist
 (530) 878-3750
Business Contact
 Beth Barker
Title: Corporate Secretary
Phone: (937) 253-4110
Research Institution
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.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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