Evaluation of an “On-Thigh” Vibrotactile Collision Avoidance Alerting Component in a Simulated Flight Mission Academic Article uri icon


  • Tactical collision avoidance systems (TCAS) aim to promote aerospace safety by improving the situational awareness of helicopter pilots and reducing the likelihood of collisions. TCAS stimuli must be noticeable even with the multitude of visual and auditory stimuli the pilot must process during flight. To improve the salience of TCAS, a tactile on-thigh display component was added to the design. In a simulated task, participants were asked to conduct a flight mission, while searching for specific visual landmarks along the flight path and to respond to abrupt directional visual and/or tactile alerting cues. The addition of the tactile cues improved response accuracy and shortened response time to the warning. In addition, although it did not interfere with the ability to maintain flight control, participant recollection of the landmark targets they had identified was least successful in the presence of the tactile modality. Implications for design are discussed.

publication date

  • January 1, 2015