A Comparison of Live and Simulated Fire Soldier Shooting Performance

Report No. ARL-TR-4234
Authors: David R. Scribner, Patrick H. Wiley, and William H. Harper
Date/Pages: September 2007; 40 pages
Abstract: The use of simulation is increasing as our capabilities of producing high-fidelity virtual environments expand. This is true for marksmanship and engagement shooting trainers as well. Many marksmanship studies have used simulated fire, but not many of these simulators have been validated with a live fire comparison. The U.S. Army Research Laboratorys dismounted infantry survivability and lethality test bed (DISALT) is highly effective as a research tool because of its high-fidelity data capture and flexibility for shooting scenarios. However, no live fire validation data have been published for it. A simulated version of the outdoor small-arms experimental range at Aberdeen Proving Ground (known as M-Range) was built by the authors. A study was designed in which live fire would be compared to the simulated fire during controlled laboratory conditions with the use of DISALT. Participants were 12 U.S. Army Soldiers, military occupational specialty 11C (indirect fire dismounted infantryman). The shooting task consisted of an 18-target pop-up scenario that used olive drab green E-type silhouettes. Ranges consisted of 75-, 100-, 150-, 200-, 250-, and 300-meter targets from a kneeling foxhole-supported position. Each participant was exposed to 10 trials each of simulation and live fire, half performing simulated fire first and vice versa. Target exposure time was 3 seconds with a 3-second inter-target interval. De-militarized M16A2 rifles with iron sights outfitted with electronics were used for the simulated fire, while operational M16A2 rifles with iron sights were used with M855 ball ammunition for the live fire portion. Data collected included hit percentage, time to first shot, radial aiming error, subjective workload and stress data. All data were analyzed with a repeated measures analysis of variance. Statistical differences and non-differences in the performance and subjective data are discussed.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: September 1, 2007