The role of visual cues and whole-body rotations in helicopter hovering control

Daniel R. Berger, Cengiz Terzibas, Karl Beykirch, Heinrich H. Bülthoff

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Helicopters in flight are unstable, and hovering at one spot requires the pilot to do a considerable amount of active control. To date, it is still under discussion which sensory cues helicopter pilots use for this stabilization task, and how these cues are combined. Here we investigated how cues from different sensory modalities (visual cues and body cues) are used when humans stabilize a simulated helicopter at a target location in a closed perception-action loop. Participants were seated inside a closed cabin on a Stewart platform equipped with a projection screen. They had to stabilize a simulated helicopter on a target spot. To investigate the influence of individual visual cues on the stabilization, a minimalistic visual scene was used. Two spheres in the scene represented the location of the target and the position of the helicopter. Optical flow was provided by world-stationary random dots, and a horizon was produced by a black ground plane and white sky. We measured stabilization performance in ten different conditions: black background, horizon, optical flow, both horizon and optical flow, and horizontal stripes; all of these both with and without platform rotation cueing. Physical pitch and roll body rotations were presented by tilting the platform exactly as the simulated helicopter tilted. Our results show that all manipulated cues - horizon, optical flow, and platform rotations - can help the participants to stabilize a simulated helicopter. In particular, adding physical rotation cues to visual stimulation in a simulator can significantly improve the ability of trained participants to stabilize the simulated helicopter at a target location.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCollection of Technical Papers - 2007 AIAA Modeling and Simulation Technologies Conference
Pages962-974
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Event2007 AIAA Modeling and Simulation Technologies Conference - Hilton Head, SC, United States
Duration: 2007 Aug 202007 Aug 23

Publication series

NameCollection of Technical Papers - 2007 AIAA Modeling and Simulation Technologies Conference
Volume2

Other

Other2007 AIAA Modeling and Simulation Technologies Conference
CountryUnited States
CityHilton Head, SC
Period07/8/2007/8/23

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Modelling and Simulation

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The role of visual cues and whole-body rotations in helicopter hovering control'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this