Accession Number:

ADA415792

Title:

The Effects of 37 Hours of Continuous Wakefulness on the Physiological Arousal, Cognitive Performance, Self-Reported Mood, and Simulator Flight Performance of F-117A Pilots

Descriptive Note:

Interim rept. 1 Mar-16 Jun 2003

Corporate Author:

AIR FORCE RESEARCH LAB BROOKS AFB TX HUMAN EFFECTIVENESS DIR/BIODYNAMICS ANDPROTECTION DIV

Report Date:

2003-06-01

Pagination or Media Count:

83.0

Abstract:

Over the past 30 years, fatigue has contributed to a number of Air Force mishaps. Resource cutbacks combined with increased operational tempos, sustained operations, and night fighting could exacerbate the problem. Extended wakefulness and circadian factors can be especially problematic in military aviation where mission demands sometimes necessitate flights as long as 17-44 hours. To effectively counter fatigue in such operations, the effects of this threat must be objectively measured and understood. This study assessed F-117A pilots during a 37-hour period of continuous wakefulness. Although none of the pilots crashed, substantial decrements were found in flight-skills, reaction times, mood, and brain activation as early as after the 26 hour of continuous wakefulness. The greatest flight degradations occurred after 27-33 hours awake, even though many pilots believed their worst performance was earlier. The decrements found in this relatively-benign test environment may be more serious under operational conditions unless personnel anticipate the most dangerous times and administer valid fatigue countermeasures.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Aircraft Operations
  • Anatomy and Physiology

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE