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Detection and Identification of Simultaneous Communications in a Simulated Flying Task
DEFENCE SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY ORGANISATION MELBOURNE (AUSTRALIA) AIR OPERATIONS DIV
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Operators of military flight vehicles are often required to attend to more than one source of communications signal. Previous research has shown that the intelligibility of a speech message in a background of speech distractors is improved if the signals are presented using a 3-dimensional 3-D audio display rather than the traditional diotic configuration. However, whether infrequent target messages e.g., callsigns are more reliably detected in a continuous monitoring task with high temporal uncertainty when using a 3-D audio display has not been examined. This study examined participants ability to detect a target callsign and identify a colornumber combination associated with it while engaged in a 20-minute, simulated formation-flying task. Participants were required to monitor five communications channels, each of which presented messages at random intervals. On average, 2.4 channels were simultaneously active. Thirty targets were presented over the 20-minute period. There were three audio display conditions diotic, all channels in front, and channels separated in azimuth 3-D. Results show that the detection of target callsigns was significantly higher in the 3-D condition compared to the other conditions. Detections and false alarms were combined to calculate sensitivity and criterion measures using signal detection theory. Sensitivity was significantly higher in the 3-D condition compared with the other conditions, but there were no differences in criterion. Also, consistent with previous results, correct identification of the target numbercolor combination was significantly higher in the 3-D condition compared with the other conditions.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE