Tag: pilots

Eject! Eject! Eject! – Current Ejection Systems

Technological advancements in the design and development of ejection systems have resulted in significant improvements in the ejection seat and life support systems. Some of the advancements in ejection seat related sub-systems are discussed here.

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Sick in the Air: Motion Sickness/Air Sickness

Motion Sickness, characterised by nausea, pallor, cold sweating and vomiting, occurs when humans are exposed to unfamiliar motion stimuli, either real or apparent. The earliest known reference to motion sickness was ‘sea-sickness’ but now this term encompasses symptoms induced by any form of motion or even in the absence of physical motion it is known …

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Spatial Disorientation – Vestibular Illusions

The vestibular illusions are divided as per the affected sub-system viz. otolith organ or semicircular canals. Though there are many an illusions, only the common vestibular illusions have been briefly discussed.

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Spatial Disorientation – Visual Illusions

Various visual illusions are enumerated here. Though there are many an illusions, only the common visual illusions have been briefly discussed.

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Spatial Disorientation: Prevention

Prevention of SD is a multi-pronged approach. Preventive strategies start with the selection of healthy candidates with normal vestibular function for aviation duties. The trained aircrew should make conscious and concerted efforts to be physically and mentally healthy, and if unwell or under medication – prescribed or self-medicated, must avoid flying under any circumstances for their …

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Spatial Disorientation: An Introduction

Spatial Disorientation is ‘an erroneous sense of the magnitude or direction of any of the control or performance flight instruments’. Stated in the words of Benson, “Spatial disorientation is a state characterized by an erroneous sense of position, attitude, or motion of oneself or one’s aircraft in relation to a fixed, three dimensional co-ordinate system …

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Orientation in Aviation

Man’s desire to soar into the sky led to the departure from his natural habitat. This resulted in a mismatch between the orientation demands of the new environment and his innate ability to orient. Motion stimuli in aviation differ in magnitude, direction, frequency and in the degrees of freedom from that experienced on the ground. …

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Orientation in Aviation: Vision

Vision is the most important sensory organ of orientation. There are, in fact, two distinct visual systems. First is the ‘Focal’ (central) vision. This is concerned with recognition and identification of an object and in general answers the question of “what”. This comprises of the central 30° of the visual cone. Focal vision is responsible for …

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Orientation in Aviation: Vestibular Apparatus

The vestibular apparatus is about the size of a pea, located in the inner ear. Within this small volume are sensory receptors, which are stimulated by angular accelerations as low as 0.05°/s2 (0.9mrad/s2) and linear acceleration of less than 0.01 G (0.1 m/s2).

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Lost It, Situational Awareness!

Situational Awareness “can be conceived of as the pilot’s internal model of the world around him at any point in time” [1]. Conventional flight requires the pilots to glean information from the instrument panel and other auditory inputs, interpret it and draw inference to maintain their situational awareness and in turn ensure safe flight. And …

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