Tactile torso display as countermeasure to reduce night vision goggles induced drift
van Erp, J.B.F.
van Veen, H.A.H.C.
The degraded visual infoflllation when hovering with Night Vision Goggles may induce drift that is not noticed by the pilot. We tested the possibilities of counteracting these effects by using a tactile torso display. The display consisted of 64 vibro-tactile elements and presented infoflllation on the desired direction of motion only (simple version), or also included infoflllation on the current motion direction (complex version). The participants flew in a fixed-base helicopter simulator with either full vision or with simulated night vision goggleshowed perfoflllance improvement for both tactile display variants compared to hovering without a tactile display. This improvement was present in the NVG conditions (mean reduction of the position error of 22% in the horizontal direction and of 41% in the vertical direction), but also in the full vision condition (mean reductions of 32 and 63%, respectively). Also, perfoflllance with a tactile display is less affected by the introduction of a secondary (cognitive) task than perfoflllance without a tactile display. The complex variant of the tactile torso display tends to be less effective than the simple variant. We hypothesize that this effect may be due to what we call "tactile clutter". This simulator study proves the potential of intuitive tactile torso displays in reducing drift during hover. The display is so effective that it even results in perfoflllance improvement in full vision conditions. Also, the results prove that tactile displays can be applied in fast man-in-the-loop tasks. Finally, advanced tactile displays that are able to present more complex stimuli open up new possibilities of infoflllation presentation, but may also introduce tactile clutter.
To reference this document use:
NATO / RTO on 'spatial disorientation in military vehicles: causes, consequences and cures' help in Spain 15-17 April 2002. (RTO-MP-086), 1-8