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Vibrotactile and visual threat cueing with high g threat intercept in dynamic flight simulation

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Author: Eriksson, L. · Erp, J.B.F. van · Carlander, O. · Levin, B. · Veen, H.A.H.C. van · Veltman, J.E.
Institution: TNO Defensie en Veiligheid
Source:50th Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, HFES 2006, 16 October 2006 through 20 October 2006, San Francisco, CA, 1547-1551
Identifier: 16562
Keywords: Perception · Computer simulation · Fighter aircraft · Flight simulators · Sensory perception · Vibrotactile aids · Dynamic flight simulation · Head-up display · HUD · Human sensory system · Flight dynamics


In a TNO and FOI joint study, nine fighter pilots participated in a threat detection and intercept experiment in the Swedish Dynamic Flight Simulator. Visual threat cueing with a simulated Gripen aircraft head-up display (HUD) symbology was compared with combined visual and vibrotactile threat cueing by means of the HUD symbology and a TNO Tactile Torso Display consisting of 60 vibrators in a matrix covering the pilot’s torso. Each fighter pilot detected and intercepted 32 threats while pulling G-loads up to +8-9Gz. The high G-loads neither critically affected the tactile vest equipment nor the human sensory system, and visual/tactile cueing generated an overall faster RT to threat pop-ups compared with visual cueing alone. The pilots’ highest ratings of the tactile cueing were for capturing attention and indicating initial threat direction at threat pop-up. Thus, tactile threat cueing could enhance visual cueing and threat awareness in fighter aircraft.