A Human Factors Analysis of Aided Target Recognition Technology

Report No. ARL-TR-3959
Authors: Bruce S. Sterling; Catherine N. Jacobson
Date/Pages: October 2006; 62 pages
Abstract: We conducted a study to address three research objectives: (1) to determine how the use of a specific aided target recognition (AiTR) system affected scout workload, stress, and performance; (2) to examine Soldier-system interface issues; (3) to determine tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) for using AiTR. We found that overall workload, stress, and performance with AiTR were acceptable, although subject matter expert ratings of scout performance may have been lenient because of the scouts? lack of experience with AiTR. Workload and stress tended to be higher in an airport surveillance scenario, perhaps because of the complexity of the situation and the amount of territory to survey. Workload and stress are higher at night, perhaps because with differences in day and night thermal imagery, structures and terrain features are represented differently, depending on light conditions, so that cues normally used in daylight imagery may be altered or not available in night imagery. However, with more experience with thermal imagery at night, stress levels may decrease. Workload and stress tended to be higher when AiTR was used intermittently, perhaps because of constant switching between modes and the effects of reesablishing situational awareness, based on the features of each mode (i.e., refamiliarizing oneself with image chips). Concerning performance, target detection was rated slightly better when the AiTR was not used, which perhaps reflected use of the stare mode when an observation post (OP) was initially occupied. Several specific recommendations were made for improving the interface, such as adding grid lines to the map. A few TTPs for using AiTR were identified, including the use of the stationary target indicator mode when an OP was occupied; then we switched to moving target indicator mode. Another TTP was using AiTR to detect targets (perhaps except when an OP was initially occupied) and then stare (manual) mode to identify them.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: October 1, 2006