Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

Michael E. Miller, PhD


Traditional control mechanisms restrict human input on the displays in 5th generation aircraft. This research explored methods for enhancing pilot interaction with large, information dense cockpit displays; specifically, the effects of visual feedback and control button configuration when augmenting cursor control with head tracking technology. Previous studies demonstrated that head tracking can be combined with traditional cursor control to decrease selection times but can increase pilot mental and physical workload. A human subject experiment was performed to evaluate two control button configurations and three visual feedback conditions. A Fitts Law analysis was performed to create predictive models of selection time using each configuration. The models provided a poor fit to the observed data, indicating that Fitts Law does not adequately describe human performance for these systems. A repeated measures analysis of variance revealed that there was no difference in performance between the two control configurations. Conditions without visual feedback were less accurate and slower than those with feedback. However, all configurations employing head tracking were faster than the current cursor control system and conditions without visual feedback will likely impose lower physical workload than the other configurations. Recommendations for future research and enhanced head tracking cursor control systems are discussed.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number