Flight task performance with high and low gain night vision goggles

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Proceedings title37th European Rotorcraft Forum 2011, ERF 2011
Conference37th European Rotorcraft Forum 2011, ERF 2011, 13 September 2011 through 15 September 2011, Vergiate and Gallarate
Pages7277; # of pages: 6
SubjectConfined areas; Dynamic tasks; Flight test; High gain; Low-altitude; Low-and-high gain; National Research Council of Canada; Neutral density filters; Night vision goggles; Out-of-position; Performance standards; Position errors; Statistically significant difference; Task performance; Texture perception; Goggles; Rotors; Textures; Helicopter rotors
AbstractThe National Research Council of Canada (NRC) conducted a series of flight tests in collaboration with Transport Canada (TC) to compare manoeuvre performance with high and low gain night vision goggles (NVG). A series of four low-altitude manoeuvres were developed to assess the pilots' ability to perform precision and dynamic tasks with the high and low gain NVG. The manoeuvres consisted of a hover task, a vertical re-mask (bob-up) task, a shallow-descent landing task and a confined area tail-clearing task (tail-turn). To simulate a low gain goggle that would meet currently mandated minimum performance standard, a set of neutral density filters were used to limit light entry. The image presented to the pilot from the filtered NVG approximated the image from a low gain NVG while maintaining other characteristics such as resolution. The subjective data comprised visual cue ratings and a rating of the texture cues apparent in the NVG. The objective data consisted of the measurements of position error for each of the manoeuvres. Examination of the subjective data indicated that the ratings for horizontal and vertical translation cues were significantly better with the high gain NVG than with the low gain NVG. Examination of the objective data showed that only the horizontal position error in the tail-turn task resulted in a statistically significant difference between the low and high gain NVG. Specifically, the pilots tended to drift out of position more when using the low gain NVG than when using the high gain NVG. The results are discussed in terms of NVG contrast and texture perception and the implications for performance standards.
Publication date
AffiliationNational Research Council Canada (NRC-CNRC)
Peer reviewedYes
NPARC number21271757
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Record identifier9e96eafb-b98a-489d-a2f4-c4928d07e862
Record created2014-03-24
Record modified2016-05-09
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