Pictorial display design to enhance spatial awareness of operators in unmanned aviation
McCauley, Michael E.
Ciavarelli, Anthony P.
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In aviation, spatial awareness and spatial orientation are essential for performing the task of recovering from an unusual attitude. Degraded spatial awareness, particularly in extreme flight situations, may lead to lower operational effectiveness and to loss of equipment and, in manned aviation, loss of life. Therefore, inprovements in spatial awareness in complex 3D environments, including both manned and unmanned aviation. The main goal of this thesis was to determine whether a new prototype display design, called WEBER-Box, is a useful alternative or supplement to traditiona flight instruments for unmanned aviation. In addition we combined the traditional flight instrument as well as the WEBER_Box with a color-coded indication when the aircraft entered an unusual attitude. In this experiment, the participants executed typical tasks of a UAV-operator. We investigated the influence of the WEBER-Box on UAV operator's orientation performance. The important results can be summarized as follows: 1. significant improvement in correctly solving the orientation tasks, 2. significant reduction in time to solve orientation tasks, 3. color coded indication of unusual attitude significantly decreased the response time and reduced the error, 4. the proposed display design was accepted, interpreted, and and used to solve 3D-orientation tasks efficiently.
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