Effects of target size, luminance contrast, and illumination on visual target detection and recognition with AN/AVS-6 goggles
The military has invested in the development of low light level and night imaging technologies to gain tactical advantages on the battlefield. Moreover, certain military activities such as night aviation maneuvers demand the most sophisticated night imaging devices. Unfortunately, as the frequency of use of night imaging devices increases, so has the number of accidents (Boyd, 1991). Many of these accidents have been attributed to the novel usage as well as the intrinsic limitations of night imaging devices.
The present research examined the effects of target size, luminance contrast, and illumination level on visual target detection and recognition while using AN/AVS-6 night vision goggles. Vehicle silhouette targets were rear-projected on random screen positions under various levels of illumination, contrast, and size. The observer's task was to detect and recognize each target while viewing through night vision goggles.
The results indicate that visual detection and recognition performance degrade with decreasing levels of illumination, contrast, and target size. The findings of this work can be used to optimize the usage of AN/AVS-6 devices.