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Enhanced Situation Awareness in Sea, Air and Land Environments

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United States US military Special Forces teams currently use 2D visual displays for navigation information in the air, in water, and on the ground. These current displays demand the user 5 visual attention, which can compromise mission effectiveness, and using visual displays in low light visibility environments can cause fatigue, degrade performance, and compromise a clandestine situation. If navigation equipment that is dependent on visual displays were integrated with a tactile display, the need to use vision for navigation could be minimized. The operator could be more effective if his eyes were used to survey the surroundings rather than continuously monitor a visual display. The Tactile Situation Awareness System for Special Forces TSAS-SF was developed to investigate the potential of tactile displays for Special Forces operations. The TSAS-SF will upgrade present 2D visual navigation displays and will provide non-visual, non-audible navigation information to Special Forces personnel by interfacing navigation information with a tactile display. This new capability will provide 2D direction cues to the skin, which wilt free the users visual senses for higher priority tasks e.g. contact identification and classification. Preliminary testing in a High Altitude, High Opening HAHO parachute environment and a ground environment, and earlier testing in an underwater environment McTrusty, Walters, 1997, Rupert, McTrusty, Peak, 1999, have demonstrated that navigation can be performed faster with tactile cues than visual cues, and superior navigational accuracy can be achieved with less mental fatigue on the operator. These results suggest that a tactile display that provides eyes free and hands free air and ground navigation information may provide the opportunity to devote more time to other instruments and tasks when operating in high workload conditions. These effects can increase mission effectiveness.

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  • Psychology
  • Stress Physiology

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