Spatial Orientation and Motion Cue Environment Study in the Total In-Flight Simulator.
GULF AND WESTERN APPLIED SCIENCE LABS WALTHAM MA
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A study was performed using the Air Force Total In-Flight Simulator TIFS to gather data concerning spatial orientation, headneck biodynamics, and the tactile cue environment during certain aircraft maneuvers. The maneuvers included coordinated turns, uncoordinated rolling and pitching motions, roller-coaster motions, lateral accelerations and sustained longitudinal accelerations. Measurements were made of perceived direction of vertical, perceived roll rate magnitude estimates, and perceived translatory acceleration magnitude estimates using a special indicator and employing an otherwise passive subject. The dynamics of seat-pan and backrest pressure distributions for both the pilot and passive subject were measured with a set of pressure transducers laid over the seats. Videotape recordings of the pilots and passive subjects head position with respect to the cockpit were made, and neck muscle activity was measured using electromyographic EMG electrodes. Full documentation of the aircrafts specific forces, angular rates and Euler angles were obtained from an onboard inertial system. The pattern of orientation illusions during coordinated turns can be explained in terms of biological sensory mechanisms and is compared to the predictions of an optimal estimator model for human dynamic spatial orientation. The EMG and video head motion data are used to partially describe headnecktorso response to lateral inertial forces, and a proprioceptive component of the spatial orientation model is compared to some of the EMG data.
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