A Mathematical Model-based Metric of Spatial Disorientation for Use in Triggering Active Countermeasures

Spatial disorientation (SD) is a leading cause of Class A mishaps in aviation. Ground-based SD training has been widely adopted, and resulted in measurable reductions of mishaps attributed to SD. However, most benefits of SD training have been realized for some time, and it remains insufficient as a standalone countermeasure approach. Several active countermeasures have been proposed, however, many can be distracting in nature even during nominal conditions. Thus, there is a need to be able to detect SD, such that countermeasures could be triggered only when SD is likely to be present or posing a risk. Because there is no validated method of objectively measuring SD, particularly for real-time operational environments, previous research has focused on developing SD metrics using mathematical models of human orientation perception. The authors first review preliminary works proposing an ‘SD-detection-and-aiding-system’. Then the authors introduce a novel method to combine multiple aspects and dimensions of spatial orientation perception to create a continuous, unidimensional statistic. This metric of SD can be used to trigger active countermeasures for the purpose of reducing the risk of a mishap resulting from SD.


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  • Accession Number: 01766807
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Nov 9 2020 3:08PM