A Flight Test Study to Assess the Utility of an Aircraft Referenced 3D Audio Display to Improve Pilot Performance under High Workload Conditions
Date of Award
Master of Science
Stephan Corda, Peter Solies
A study to assess the utility of an aircraft referenced 3D audio display was undertaken to determine if there could be any improvements to pilot performance when operating under high workload conditions. Test subjects flew a general aviation light twin-engine aircraft under simulated single-pilot instrument flight rule conditions. Workload was elevated by ensuring each test subject had to execute an unexpected missed approach procedure and simultaneously handle a simulated engine failure. Subjective data was gathered using the NASA Task Load Index and a post-flight questionnaire on perceived performance, workload and situational awareness. Objective data on pilot performance was gathered using the research aircraft’s onboard instrumentation system. Within the limitations of having a low number (5) of test subjects available, subjective data results showed a perceived increase in situational awareness, performance, and a statistically significant reduction in workload. Although not statistically significant, the only objective impact to performance was a slight increase in heading control and course intercept. There was no corresponding performance increase in airspeed control, angle of bank control, or improvements to aircraft track. Overall, the results indicate that a 3D audio display would have utility and pilot acceptance as a supplemental navigational display, but would not result in any substantial improvements to pilot performance.
Naqvi, Mehendi Hassan, "A Flight Test Study to Assess the Utility of an Aircraft Referenced 3D Audio Display to Improve Pilot Performance under High Workload Conditions. " Master's Thesis, University of Tennessee, 2008.