EPSRC-BAE Systems CASE-funded PhD Studentship: Future Virtual Augmented & Mixed Reality Systems for Future Military Vehicle Operations

University of Birmingham - Electronic, Electrical & Systems Engineering (Human Interface Technologies Team)

A PhD project with the University of Birmingham’s Human Interface Technologies Team (www.birmingham.ac.uk/hit-team and http://tinyurl.com/hitteamuob) building upon internationally acclaimed research programmes evaluating novel human-system interaction technologies in the field of Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality (VR, AR and MxR) for such applications as advanced command and control, future cockpit design, medical rescue team training and the supervision of unmanned systems .

Military land vehicles, both current- and future-generation, take the form of sophisticated mobile command, control and delivery platforms, comprising personnel with markedly different roles – driver, commander, gunner(s), troops and/or specialist personnel (e.g. medical) – all of whom are expected to perform as an integrated system to deliver specific capabilities to specific geographical locations. Often facing high-tempo, high-threat situations, each member of the team faces significant challenges if system integrity and survivability is to be preserved – effective communication, a robust and accurate understanding of the vehicle’s operational status and of the local situation local to the vehicle, both whilst in transit and at the point of capability delivery.  Early research conducted by the University of Birmingham suggests that VR, AR and MxR technologies have the potential to support military teams in such situations, particular from the perspective of delivering high-quality, real-time, multimedia/ multimodal information to support both local and remote situational awareness.  However, the future implementation of these technologies within the confines of a compact, mobile platform is dependent on a wide variety of important human-centred issues, all of which offer unique opportunities for research at PhD level.  Examples include (but are not limited to) visual-vestibular conflict (related to the perception of content presented on synthetic and video displays), display type (fixed/wearable) and the impact of environmental characteristics on head-tracking, legibility and the formatting and coding of interactive display content, opportunities for “non-traditional” data input techniques, and long-term usage of VR/AR/MxR systems in closed-down vehicle situations and resulting effects on human performance, response times, situational awareness, vigilance, and so on.

To find out more about studying for a PhD at the University of Birmingham, including full details of the research undertaken in the Department, the funding opportunities available for your subject, and guidance on making your application, you can order a copy of our Doctoral Research Prospectus, at: www.birmingham.ac.uk/drp.

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Midlands of England