An Aircraft Preference Study on the Application of Vector Maps in U.S. Navy Tactical Aircraft
NAVAL RESEARCH LAB STENNIS SPACE CENTER MS MAPPING CHARTING AND GEODESY BRANCH
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Cockpit digital map displays have long been considered a good situational awareness SA tool for the pilot. However, due to limited computational capabilities in tactical aircraft, most cockpit map displays have been limited to the display of digitized paper charts and imagery. One significant problem encountered by tactical aircraft pilots is map display clutter. Important mission planning and real-time overlays are often rendered over the map display during flight. The clutter resulting from the combination of these overlays with the underlying map display can lead to reduced situational awareness. Unfortunately, the feature content of digitized paper charts and imagery cannot be altered to help alleviate the clutter. Next-generation cockpit maps, like Vector map displays, will allow the crew to customize the map, embed information within it, and declutter it. Of course, there may be a tradeoff between the potential of added flexibility in the cockpit versus a potentially higher pilot workload. A web-based Vector Map survey was developed to gather Navy and Marine Corps aircrew preference data to evaluate functional aspects of vector maps in the cockpit and in mission planning. The aircrews who responded to the Vector Map survey represented a full cross-section of Navy and Marine Corps Tactical and Rotary Wing platforms, and they had or were expected to have a requirement for cockpit Moving Map functionality. Results showed that the ability to declutter a map display was by far the highest ranked vector map function for all platforms for both mission planning and cockpit implementation. These results suggest that all the vector map functions demonstrated would be very beneficial, particularly in mission planning where more time can be devoted to map study. However, the study also suggests that there may be benefits to providing a reduced, predefined profile to the aircrew to declutter a map quickly. 2 tables, 1 figure, 4 refs.
- Cartography and Aerial Photography
- Electrooptical and Optoelectronic Devices