This paper shall examine several command and control facility display architectures supporting space vehicle operations, to
include TacSat 2, TacSat 3, STPSat 2, and Communications Navigation Outage Forecasting System (CNOFS), located within
the Research Development Test & Evaluation Support Complex (RSC) Satellite Operations Center 97 (SOC-97) at Kirtland
Air Force Base. A principal focus is to provide an understanding for the general design class of displays currently supporting
space vehicle command and control, e.g., custom, commercial-off-the-shelf, or ruggedized commercial-off-the-shelf, and
more specifically, what manner of display performance capabilities, e.g., active area, resolution, luminance, contrast ratio,
frame/refresh rate, temperature range, shock/vibration, etc., are needed for particular aspects of space vehicle command and
control. Another focus shall be to address the types of command and control functions performed for each of these systems,
to include how operators interact with the displays, e.g., joystick, trackball, keyboard/mouse, as well as the kinds of
information needed or displayed for each function. [Comparison with other known command and control facilities, such as
Cheyenne Mountain and NORAD Operations Center, shall be made.] Future, anticipated display systems shall be discussed.
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
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.
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.
In many command centers, operators are required to monitor multiple displays and perform several complex data tasks
simultaneously. Multiple display systems may include two or more individual desktop monitors or the utilization of a
large, shared, wall display configuration. Using multi- or shared display systems can be beneficial in alleviating
individual desktop clutter as well as providing access to task-relevant information and facilitating situation awareness,
but only if the operators know the information is available. Using visual alerts is one way to inform operators that
updated or new information has been added to a shared display. The present study investigated the placement of visual
alerts in a multi-display configuration. Ten participants performed spatial tasks on either a desktop monitor or a large
wall display. Participants concurrently monitored both displays for a visual alert. The alert was presented on either the
same display as the task (task/alert same) or the non-task display (task/alert different). The dependent measure was the
response time to perceive the visual alert. Overall, participants responded faster when the visual alert was presented on
the non-task display, but this effect depended on the location of the central task (desk, wall) and proximate location of
the alert (top or bottom of the display). Limitations of the present study and future research considerations will be
There has been much research on many different aspects of image quality for 2D displays. These range from objective
type metrics (e.g, luminance contrast, saturation contrast, resolution, etc.) to more subjective metrics (e.g,. "Rate the
quality of the display from 1 - 5"), to metrics in between (subjective-objective) in which observers are asked to perform
a task and their performance determines the "goodness" of the display. We would like to start identifying these similar
types of metrics for 3D displays. In this case many of the traditional metrics do not work. We first discuss some of the
more objective metrics including system specifications and measurable data. Secondly, we discuss both subjective (e.g.,
rating measures) and subjective-objective (e.g., experimental task) metrics that have been used in the past, and how well
they may work for our situation. We also discuss developing new metrics of these types. We finally discuss what we feel
is the way forward in the hopes of generating discussion for future research to help display manufacturers in their
endeavors for designing new and innovative 3D displays.
A low-power, yet sunlight readable, display is needed for dismounted applications where the user must carry the power source. Such a display could potentially replace paper checklists and maps with electronic counterparts. A reflective active matrix electrophoretic ink display (AMEPID) was evaluated as a candidate technology for such applications. This display technology uses ambient illumination, rather than competing with it, and requires power only when rewriting the display. The device was tested for viewability under a variety of lighting conditions. Readability of displayed text, as compared to standard print on white paper, was evaluated in an indoor office environment and in outdoor lighting conditions. Viewability of the display with night vision goggles (NVGs) was evaluated under simulated full moon, starlight, and overcast illumination conditions. Objective measurements of luminance, contrast ratio and reflectance were conducted under corresponding irradiance conditions and viewing angles using state-of-the-art photometric and radiometric measurement equipment. In addition to visible spectrum measurements, infrared (IR) reflectance and contrast were measured for the extended spectrum of 720-1700 nm. Results are discussed in terms of performance criteria for military displays, which are often much more demanding than for civil applications.
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.
Digital displays will play a critical role in providing a common battlespace picture whether in the aircraft cockpit, command and control facility or carried by ground troops. Advanced display technologies will be key to providing our warfighters with needed information. The purpose of the Display Characterization Facility at Wright-Patterson AFB is to provide quantitative performance data on current and upcoming display technologies and evaluate these technologies for specific Air Force applications. This requires an understanding not only of the specific display technology and its capabilities and limitations but also the capabilities and limitations of the human visual system, the tasks to be performed and characteristics of the environment which may affect the operator-display interaction. To this end, the Display Characterization Laboratory conducts both display hardware measurements and assessments of human performance using the displays under expected environmental conditions. Common display measurements are described along with their implications for operator visual performance.
Personnel in airport control towers monitor and direct the takeoff of outgoing aircraft, landing of incoming aircraft and all movements of aircraft on the ground. Although the primary source of information for the Local Controller, Assistant Local Controller and the Ground Controller is the real world viewed through the windows of the control tower, electronic displays are also used to provide situation awareness. Due to the criticality of the work to be performed by the controllers and the rather unique environment of the air traffic control tower, display hardware standards, which have been developed for general use, are not directly applicable. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requested assistance of Air Force Research Laboratory Human Effectiveness Directorate in producing a document which can be adopted as a Tower Display Standard usable by display engineers, human factors practitioners and system integrators. Particular emphasis was placed on human factors issues applicable to the control tower environment and controller task demands.
Holographically formed polymer dispersed liquid crystal (HPDLC) materials meet the requirements for a video rate reflective display. In order to produce a saturated color from a Bragg reflector, the number of index changing layers becomes critical. The fabrication process affects the number of layers forming the reflector, and, as a result, the bandwidth and optical characteristics, including reflection intensity, direction, and spread, of the reflector. The cell thickness and the liquid crystal mixture affect the voltage at which the cell operates and the speed at which the liquid crystal material can switch from the reflective to non-reflective state. The cell designer is forced to work with all of these design parameters simultaneously. This research continues previous work evaluating reflective HPDLC display samples including a method to measure temporal response and refine color reflection characterization.
A representative sample of Air Force operational units was surveyed with regard to their mission-specific mapping, charting and geodesy (MC&G) information requirements. Current human factors issues associated with use of MC&G data were documented as well as potential problems associated with the transition from paper to digital map displays. One of the products of this survey is a wish list of digital map display features and capabilities desired by the users.