22 August 2000 Mine detection training based on expert skill
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Abstract
Studies show that soldiers' mine detection capabilities with the PSS-12 hand-held detector are substandard and that their probabilities of detecting (PD) low-metal mines are dangerously low. Highly experienced PSS-12 operators, however, achieve PDS over 0.90 on high- and low-metal anti- tank (AT) and anti-personnel (AP) mines. Significantly, experts' detection techniques differ from conventional military PSS-12 operating procedures. We report three studies investigating whether instruction based on expert skill could bridge the observed performance gap. Basic research on human expertise has shown that instruction based on detailed scientific analyses of experts' behaviors and thought processes boosts skill acquisition dramatically. These studies tested the effects of an experimental detection training program based on knowledge and techniques learned from analysis of PSS-12 expertise. In Study I soldiers who had completed standard mine detection training participated as operators/trainees. This experiment used a pretest-posttest design. Mine simulants served as targets in testing gand training. Targets simulate d5 different mines and represented high- and low-metal AT and AP mine types. Pretest performance failed to distinguish the treatment and control groups. Both achieved very low PDs on low metal mines. Treatment-group soldiers then received approximately 15 hours of experimental, hands-on training. Posttest results showed that the treatment groups PD on minimal metal targets was more than 6 times that of the control group. Study 2 tested a subset of the treated soldiers in the same setting, now wearing body armor. Results replicated those of Study 1. Study 3 tested treatment group soldiers on real mine targets. Several mines from each mine type were used. The surface of the test lanes was expected to increase detection difficulty. Soldiers nonetheless achieved an aggregate PD of 0.97 and showed significant improvement in detecting low-metal mines.
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James J. Staszewski, Alan Davison, "Mine detection training based on expert skill", Proc. SPIE 4038, Detection and Remediation Technologies for Mines and Minelike Targets V, (22 August 2000); doi: 10.1117/12.396203; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.396203
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