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During the dynamic flight phases of ascent and entry, the crew of the Orion-Ares vehicle will experience elevated vibration levels (together with sustained accelerations) that may compromise their ability to extract and process alphanumeric information from cockpit display formats. ISIS personnel recently began the process of quantifying how vibration impacts alphanumeric reading performance in a semi-supine position within an Orion-like display/seat layout.

Research Subject in the Vibration Chair Vibration Research Task Graphic

Each operator was asked to locate the highlighted (magenta) box in a display consisting of a six-by-six matrix of boxes, read and process the contents of the middle row of digits, and then make a two-alternative forced-choice (2AFC) based on the row's content.

Task error rates in the main condition, shown below, suggest that vibration levels above 0.3 g (0-to-peak) may meaningfully compromise the processing of alphanumeric symbology in the currently anticipated Orion display viewing conditions, particularly if the font size is small.
Vibration Task Results Table
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Curator: Phil So
NASA Official: Bernard Adelstein
Last Updated: June 22, 2012