Human factors engineering in sonar visual displays
Galvin, Lawrence F.
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Undersea technology is on the verge of equipping remotely operated vehicle (ROV) pilots with a three-dimensional (3-D), real-time display incorporating data from a wide variety of sensors including sonar (sound navigation and ranging), cameras, and lasers. Effective collection, computation, and presentation of this data to the pilot in a single display presents hardware, software and human factors problems. This thesis focuses on human factors issues associated with the display of information which could enhance the pilot's efficiency of performance. Background information on human factors engineering, 3-D computer graphics displays, and application of the 3-D perspective display precede the details of the experiment. Five specific display enhancements tested include altering the displayed field of view, providing a screen grid, displaying the current range to the target of interest, using a vertical color scheme, and controlling the display update rate. Seven tests measure the effects of these display enhancements on the simulated piloting of an ROV. The effects of the ROV simulation and operator learning curves are removed to compare performance changes due to the various enhancements directly. Operator comments during and after testing as well as test monitor/author observations provide insight into the experiment Test result implications for system design trade-offs are discussed in detail. Recommendations for future research and the proposed construction of a fully equipped ROV simulator complete the work.
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution August 1991
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