Optimization of Army-Navy/Portable Special Search (AN/PSS)-14 Operator Training

Report No. ARL-TR-3970
Authors: Kristin M. Schweitzer; Bradley M. Davis; Bradley A. Pettijohn; Robert D. Clark; Alan D. Davison; James J. Staszewski
Date/Pages: October 2006; 88 pages
Abstract: The research goal was to optimize Army-Navy/Portable Special Search (AN/PSS)-14 mine detector operator training duration and content. Results from training observations and analysis of Soldiers? learning progression curves indicated that AN/PSS-14 operators who certified through the course were not adequately skilled. Results also showed that the operators learned little with regard to ground-penetrating radar (GPR) use and consequently were not confident in discriminating mines and clutter. The authors recommended a better understanding of GPR functionality and the teaching of target discrimination. Additional time needs to be spent on learning how to develop the spatial patterns (footprints) that different objects produce through metal detection and GPR signals. Training sessions need to be standardized and structured into the crawl-walk-run format with more ?hands-on? experience. The Sweep Monitoring System needs to be used more fully. Instructors need to better provide prompt, consistent, and frequent performance feedback. We recommend more stringent quality control of mine simulants, controlled clutter in the mine lanes, burying of the test piece, and multiple grading standards (probability of detection, target discrimination, time standard) that are consistent and more accurate. Recommendations were integrated into a new program of instruction.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: October 1, 2006