Pilot's Visual Scan Patterns and Situation Awareness in Flight Operations

Situation awareness (SA) is deemed essential to safe flight operations and aviation safety. Since most of the information processed by pilots is acquired by visual scans, visual perception forms the basis for SA and pilot decision-making. This study attempts to measure the impact of visual scanning patterns on SA through the use of eye-tracking tools in a flight simulator. Eighteen military pilots performed air-to-surface tasks in a flight simulator while wearing head-mounted eye-tracking devices. Pupil size, eye movement and fixation, perceived workload, and situation awareness were analyzed during three operating phases: preparation, aiming, and release and break-away. Results showed that unlike traditional flight simulators, eye-tracking devices can assist in measuring pilots' visual scan patterns and SA performance. Integration of these devices into simulators may be useful for gaining a better understanding of information processing and for improving the effectiveness of flight training.


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  • Accession Number: 01532390
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 1 2014 4:08PM