Preventing Simulator Sickness of Onboard Flight Simulators

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Navy
Contract: N68335-08-C-0294
Agency Tracking Number: N08A-011-0170
Amount: $69,978.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2008
Solicitation Year: 2008
Solicitation Topic Code: N08-T011
Solicitation Number: 2008.A
Small Business Information
303 Bear Hill Road, Waltham, MA, 02451
DUNS: 004627316
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Anna Galea
 Director of Technology Development
 (781) 890-1338
Business Contact
 William Thompson
Title: Contracts Manager
Phone: (781) 890-1338
Research Institution
 Marilyn M Louie
 13400 East Shea Blvd.
Scottsdale, AZ, 85259-
 (480) 301-6057
 Domestic nonprofit research organization
Simulator sickness prevents the use of simulators immediately prior to a mission. The main cause for simulator sickness appears to be a mismatch between ocular cues and vestibular cues. This is especially apparent in simulators that do not utilize a motion base, and logistically it is largely not feasible to maintain a simulator with a motion base in a deployed setting, compounding the problem. In a natural setting, our bodies sense motion through the visual, proprioceptive (‘seat of the pants’) and vestibular systems. Realizing that the large-scale proprioceptive inputs require considerable logistics that are extremely difficult in a deployed setting, our team of engineers and clinicians has been developing a vestibular display that, combined with visual stimulation, accounts for most of the sensation of motion present in a real setting. Our oculo-vestibular recoupled flight simulator will therefore mitigate or eliminate simulator sickness. We have found in our studies to date that there is a variability in the vestibular sensitivity among individuals. Our device and methods lead to a direct assessment of this phenomenon, and we will use this to study the strength of the link to motion sickness susceptibility. This could result in a simple, safe method to determine an appropriate individualized training regimen.

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

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