The Effects of Physical Impairment on Shooting Performance

Report No. ARL-TR-6102
Authors: Jennifer C. Swoboda, William Harper, Frank Morelli, and Patrick Wiley
Date/Pages: August 2012; 56 pages
Abstract: This study was conducted to support improvements to the models used to support the Joint Trauma Analysis and Prevention of Injury in Combat (JTAPIC) program. The goal of this research study was to provide data to support verification and validation (V&V) of human performance modeling for task-based impairment within the Operational Requirement-Based Casualty Assessment (ORCA) model. Using human factors methods, we generated data to artificially simulate elemental capability degradation (e.g., vision, hand use) and measured task performance ability. For the aimed portion (50–300-m, foxhole supported firing position), hit percentage data showed significant differences for range to target only. While expected for the closest (50 m) and furthest (300 m) ranges, no significant differences appeared in the reflexive portion (10- and 25-m, standing unsupported with the weapon in low ready position) nor were there any other significant differences for hit percentage data. As expected, target radial error for the aimed and reflexive positions increased as range increased. Physical impairment of the shooters' dominant side significantly affected target engagement time. It took longer to engage the target when the dominant side was impaired, forcing shooters to fire from their non-dominant side. For the aimed position, range to target and impairment condition showed an interaction, i.e., at shorter ranges, impairment affected the target engagement time significantly, while at longer ranges, where performance is already decremented (due to range), impairment had less of an effect.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: August 1, 2012