The propagation of information operation technologies, with correspondingly vast amounts of complex network
information to be conveyed, significantly impacts operator workload. Information management research is rife with
efforts to develop schemes to aid operators to identify, review, organize, and retrieve the wealth of available data. Data
may take on such distinct forms as intelligence libraries, logistics databases, operational environment models, or network
topologies. Increased use of taxonomies and semantic technologies opens opportunities to employ network visualization
as a display mechanism for diverse information aggregations. The broad applicability of network visualizations is still
being tested, but in current usage, the complexity of densely populated abstract networks suggests the potential utility of
3D. Employment of 2.5D in network visualization, using classic perceptual cues, creates a 3D experience within a 2D
medium. It is anticipated that use of 3D perspective (2.5D) will enhance user ability to visually inspect large, complex,
multidimensional networks. Current research for 2.5D visualizations demonstrates that display attributes, including
color, shape, size, lighting, atmospheric effects, and shadows, significantly impact operator experience. However,
guidelines for utilization of attributes in display design are limited. This paper discusses pilot experimentation intended
to identify potential problem areas arising from these cues and determine how best to optimize perceptual cue settings.
Development of optimized design guidelines will ensure that future experiments, comparing network displays with other
visualizations, are not confounded or impeded by suboptimal attribute characterization. Current experimentation is
anticipated to support development of cost-effective, visually effective methods to implement 3D in military
Once considered too processing-intense for general utility, application of the third dimension to convey complex
information is facilitated by the recent proliferation of technological advancements in computer processing, 3D displays,
and 3D perspective (2.5D) renderings within a 2D medium. The profusion of complex and rapidly-changing dynamic
information being conveyed in operational environments has elevated interest in possible military applications of 3D
technologies. 3D can be a powerful mechanism for clearer information portrayal, facilitating rapid and accurate
identification of key elements essential to mission performance and operator safety. However, implementation of 3D
within legacy systems can be costly, making integration prohibitive. Therefore, identifying which tasks may benefit from
3D or 2.5D versus simple 2D visualizations is critical. Unfortunately, there is no "bible" of human factors guidelines for
usability optimization of 2D, 2.5D, or 3D visualizations nor for determining which display best serves a particular
application. Establishing such guidelines would provide an invaluable tool for designers and operators. Defining issues
common to each will enhance design effectiveness. This paper presents the results of an extensive review of open source
literature addressing 3D information displays, with particular emphasis on comparison of true 3D with 2D and 2.5D
representations and their utility for military tasks. Seventy-five papers are summarized, highlighting militarily relevant
applications of 3D visualizations and 2.5D perspective renderings. Based on these findings, human factors guidelines for
when and how to use these visualizations, along with recommendations for further research are discussed.
With the changing character of warfare, information superiority is a high priority. Given the complexity of current and
future operating environments, analysts, strategists and planners need a multidimensional understanding of the
battlespace. Asymmetric warfare necessitates that our strategists look beyond targets-based operations, where we simply
identify and destroy enemy entities. Effects-based operations models the enemy as a system which reacts to our actions.
This requires the capability to predict the adversary response to a selected action. Actions may be diplomatic,
information, military or economic (DIME). Effects may be political, military, economic, social, information or
infrastructure (PMESII). Timing must be explicitly considered and effects dynamically assessed. Visualizations of
intelligence information are needed which will promote full understanding of all aspects of adversary strengths and
weaknesses by providing the extensive data about adversary forces, organic essentials, infrastructure, leadership,
population, and science and technology in an easily accessible and understandable format. This will enhance Effectsbased
operations, and therefore, the capability to predict and counter adversary courses of action. This paper outlines a
systems engineering approach to designing visualizations which convey the multidimensional information to decision
makers. Visualization issues inherent in understanding the multidimensional operational environment will be discussed.
Helmet-Mounted Displays (HMDs) do not allow the pilot to change transmission level of a visor transitioning from high
to low light levels. A variable-transmittance visor (VTV) is a possible solution. The Eclipse Variable Electrochromic
Device (EclipseECDTM) is well suited for these light modulation applications. The EclipseECTM modulates light
intensity by changing the transmission level under an applied electric field. The optical density may be continuously
changed by varying voltage. EclipseECDTM is comprised of vacuum deposited layers of a transparent bottom electrode,
an active element, and a transparent top electrode, incorporating an all, solid-state electrolyte. The solid-state electrolyte
eliminates possible complications associated with gel-based technologies, the need for lamination, and any additional
visor modifications. The low-temperature deposition process enables direct application onto HMD flight visors.
Additionally, the coating is easily manufactured; can be trimmed, has near spectral neutrality and fails in the clear
(bleached) condition. Before introducing VTV technology to the warfighter, there are numerous human factors issues
that must be assessed. Considerations include optical characteristics such as transmissive range, haze, irising, internal
reflections, multiple imaging, user controllability, ease of fit, and field of view. Advanced materials tailoring coupled
with meeting critical criteria will help ensure successful integration of VTV technology.
The introduction of Night Vision Goggles (NVGs) into the cockpits of aircraft configured with head-up displays (HUDs) and colored cockpit instruments necessitated the addition of special NVG objective lens filters to ensure NVG/cockpit compatibility. Three classifications have been developed: Class A, B and C, all minus blue filters, but with different transmissivity characteristics customized to make NVGs compatible with particular cockpit configurations. Class C filters, designed for aircraft equipped with holographic HUDs, are constructed of applied reflective coatings with a built-in spectral notch for transmitting the correct light wavelength to make the projected HUD symbology readable. New absorptive glass technology was integrated into the design of an RG-665 minus-blue filter identical to a class B filter but with a physical pinhole and varying glass material thickness to fine tune the filter for optimal transmissivity for NVG/HUD compatibility. A study was conducted to examine the impact these two unique classifications of filters have on visual performance using simulated compatible cockpit lighting in a controlled laboratory. Results indicate the Class C filters significantly outperformed the RG-665 filters with the windscreen condition installed. A discussion of the properties of each type of filter and its effect on NVG visual performance are discussed in this paper.
Night Vision Goggles (NVGs) are being used increasingly by the military and law enforcement agencies for night operations. One critical issue in assessing the utility of an NVG is its resolving power or capability to make fine detail distinguishable. The resolution of Night Vision Goggles is typically assessed by measuring the visual acuity of an operator looking through the goggles. These methods can be time consuming. Further, inconsistencies associated with visual observations and judgement add to the variance associated with these measurements. NVG Modulation Transfer Function (MTF) was explored as a possible means of characterizing NVG image quality independent of a human observer. MTF maps the potential contrast output of the NVGs as a function of spatial frequency. The results of this MTF measurement were compared with a commonly used method of visual acuity assessment.
Aviation helmets have always served as an interface between technology and flyers. The functional evolution of helmets continued with the advent of radio when helmets were modified to accept communication components and later, oxygen masks. As development matured, interest in safety increased as evident in more robust designs. Designing helmets became a balance between adding new capabilities and reducing the helmet's weight. As the research community better defined acceptable limits of weight-tolerances with tools such as the “Knox Box” criteria, system developers added and subtracted technologies while remaining within these limits. With most helmet-mounted technologies being independent of each other, the level of precision in mounting these technologies was not as significant a concern as it is today. The attachment of new components was acceptable as long as the components served their purpose. However this independent concept has become obsolete with the dawn of modern helmet mounted displays. These complex systems are interrelated and demand precision in their attachment to the helmet. The helmets' role now extends beyond serving as a means to mount the technologies to the head, but is now instrumental in critical visual alignment of complex night vision and missile cueing technologies. These new technologies demand a level of helmet fit and component alignment previously not seen in past helmet designs. This paper presents some of the design, integration and logistical issues gleaned during the development of the Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System (JHMCS) to include the application of head-track technologies in forensic investigations.
Visual acuity (resolution) and field of view are two significant parameters used to characterize night vision goggles (NVGs). It is well established that these two parameters are coupled together in an inverse relationship: an increase in field of view results in a reduction in visual acuity and vice versa. An experiment was conducted to determine how visual acuity through NVGs changes as a function of NVG field of view and ambient scene illumination level. A total of three trained observers were used for this study who ranged in age from 33 to 42 years of age. The NVGs used in the study had fields of view of 40, 47, and 52 degrees, respectively. Five levels of ambient scene illumination (corresponding to NVG output luminance levels of 0.01, 0.03, 0.08, 0.26, and 1.9 fL) were provided by a 2856k light source which ranged from overcast starlight to quarter moon. The targets used in the study were approximately 95+% contrast square wave targets ranging in size from 45 cycles/degree to 5 cycles per degree. The method of adjustment was employed by having the trained observer start at a distance of 30 feet and determine the highest spatial frequency target which was clearly discernable. The subject was then directed to walk back slowly from the target until it was just out of focus, and then walk forward until the target was barely discernable. The distance from the target was recorded and used to calculate the angular spatial frequency (and equivalent Snellen acuity). The results indicate that the simple geometric model of the inverse relationship between resolution and field of view is adequate for characterizing this design trade-off for the quality of image intensifier tubes currently available.