Communications Research for Command & Control: Human-Machine Interface Technologies Supporting Effective Air Battle Management
AIR FORCE RESEARCH LAB WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH HUMAN EFFECTIVENESS DIRECTORATE
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Battle management command and control BMC2 is a communications intensive activity. Weapons directors and mission crew commanders on these platforms are required to monitor as many as eight simultaneous communications channels against a background of moderate to high ambient cabin noise while performing a number of visual and manual tasks, a combination which in the heat of battle is challenging even for the most highly trained operators. Researchers at the Air Force Research Laboratorys Human Effectiveness Directorate AFRLHE have been investigating two technologies to ameliorate this problem active noise reduction ANR headsets and spatial intercoms. ANR headsets cancel environmental noise while preserving speech signals presented via the communications network, while spatial intercoms enhance communications by increasing the effective signal-to-noise ratio of each individual communications channel, taking advantage of the listeners natural ability to efficiently segregate speech streams that are separated in space. This paper will describe investigations at AFRLHE directed at the enhancement of speech intelligibility in multi-channel tactical BMC2 environments using ANR and spatial intercom technology. Results will be discussed from basic laboratory experimentation, simulated mission scenarios, and field evaluations, and interpreted in the context of the acquisition and integration of such technologies for current and future BMC2 weapons systems.
- Voice Communications
- Command, Control and Communications Systems
- Human Factors Engineering and Man Machine Systems