Task Modeling and mitigating spatial disorientation in low g environments (Completed)
Last Published:  07/31/19 10:05:33 AM (Central)
Short Title: SD Low g
Responsible HRP Element: Space Human Factors and Habitability
Collaborating Org(s):
Human Health Countermeasures (HHC) Element
National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI)
Funding Status: Completed - Task completed and produced a deliverable
Procurement Mechanism(s):
  1. Enhance the utility of Spatial Disorientation Analysis Tool (SDAT)/Spatial Oreintation Aididng System (SOAS) by including appropriate mathematical models for vestibular and visual sensory cues, and Central Nervous System (CNS) gravito-inertial force resolution into perceived tilt and translation estimates from Massachusetts Institute of Technologys (MIT) Observer model, and revalidating it using existing aeronautical data sets.
  2. Extend the models to describe zero gravity, Shuttle, and Altair landing illusions, validating the models using Shuttle and Altair simulator data sets, current theories (e.g., rotation otolith tilt-translation reinterpretation (ROTTR) observer or Bayesian particle filter), as well as archived Apollo lunar module data, if available.
  3. Extend SDAT/SOAS to consider multiple visual frames of reference, the effects of visual attention and sensory workload, and the cognitive costs of mental rotation and reorientation. The enhanced SDAT/SOAS from Aims 1-3 will be validated via simulator and/or flight experiments.
  4. SOAS will be tailored for a lunar landing, using multi-sensory workload to choose appropriate countermeasures and their timing.

The NSBRI Spatial Disorientation Task completed all aims, contributing to closure of the HCI guidelines gap.  A series of studies and collaboration with outside labs (e.g., US Army Aeromedical Research Lab) led to a new frame of reference transformation tool, which is a design aid for vehicle control-display engineers. The tool will help designers objectively assess the costs of frame-of-reference transformations in terms of increased workload, slower response times and more control reversal errors. Characteristics of this solution can be evaluated to determine relevant content and guidelines for the Human Interface Design Handbook (HIDH).