A Tool to Maintain Spatial Orientation and Situation Awareness for Operators of Manned and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Other Military Motion Platforms
NAVAL AEROSPACE MEDICAL RESEARCH LAB PENSACOLA FL
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The Naval Aerospace Medical Research Laboratory has developed a Tactile Situation Awareness System TSAS that intuitively provides spatial orientation, navigation and threattargeting information to operators of various military platforms. The TSAS consists of tactile stimulators tactors on the torso and limbs of the body that relay processed information from a variety of sensors to the operator. Since 1992, the advantages of TSAS have been demonstrated in several applications including helicopters, fixed-wing, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles UAVs, High-Altitude High-Opening HAHO parachuting, undersea, and land 1-5. Before any piece of hardware becomes part of the military inventory, the user community conducts operational test and evaluation OPTEVEVAL and Operational Utility Evaluations OUE to identify strengths, weaknesses, and suitability in a wide variety of operational conditions. These tests also serve to develop concepts of operation. In the first section of this paper, we will present some of the data collected during an Operational Assessment OA of TSAS conducted by the 18th Flight Test of the USAF at Hurlburt Field. In the second portion, we address some of the strengths and weaknesses of TSAS technologies and the improvements made over the past decade.
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