Application of avatars in display design to support spatial awareness in extreme flight situations
McCauley, Michael E.
Paulo, Eugene P.
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Human performance in spatial orientation tasks is mainly determined by spatial awareness and the skills to transition from the current spatial attitude into the desired spatial orientation and position. Erroneous spatial awareness may lead to degraded task performance, loss of equipment, serious injuries, or fatal aviation mishaps. This study investigated human orientation performance in relation to display designs that support mental models of the user’s spatial situation. The goal of this study was to develop, design, implement, and test a prototype of an instrument to support operators in extreme flight tasks by a pictorial avatar design. Two experiments have been conducted during this study to investigate how the proposed design affects operators’ orientation performance and to prove the design concept. The most important results can be summarized as follows: 1. The proposed pictorial avatar design significantly reduced the time to assess the spatial situation. 2. Performance, in terms of recovery time and precision, is significantly improved by the proposed design compared to traditional flight instrumentation. 3. The proposed design was intuitively accepted, interpreted, and used to solve 3D-orientation tasks efficiently. 4. The proposed design reduced greatly extreme misjudgments of the own spatial orientation
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