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Peripheral Displays for Spatial Orientation in a Dual-task Environment

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Final technical rept. 1 Jul 1998-31 Dec 2001

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Pilots mental resources can be overburdened by the information presented in cockpit displays. Previous research found that presenting information in a 3D perspective, or virtual, head-up display HUD can lessen information overload. The current research examined whether extending virtual HUDs into the visual periphery will further reduce the mental workload associated with spatial orientation processes such as perception and control of the heading direction and speed of self-motion egospeed. It found that a heading control based on peripheral vision is equivalent to that based on central vision if informative areas of optical flow are visible b control of heading requires only a limited amount of attentional resources and c the complex motion created by transparently superimposing optical flow in a display can lead to systematic heading errors. Additional research found that perception and control of egospeed is based primarily on the mean image velocity of the display, but that texture density and motion parallax produce small but consistent biases. Further research found better flight-path and speed control performance with a peripherally-located virtual speed-error HUD as compared to the MIL-STD-1787B HUD airspeed indicator. Taken as a whole, these results suggest that peripheral virtual HUDs have significant potential for conveying spatial orientation with fewer resource demands than conventional HUDs.

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  • Cybernetics

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