Augmenting Human Cognition With a Digital Submarine Periscope

Stephanie Michailovs, Jessica Irons, Zach Howard, Stephen Pond, Megan Schmitt, Matthew Stoker, Troy Visser, Jason Bell, Gavin Pinniger, Madison Fitzgerald, Sam Huf, Owen Carter, Shayne Loft

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Advances in opto-electronics enable replacement of conventional submarine periscopes which display only a portion of the horizon (low field of view), with digital periscopes, which can potentially display a 360° panoramic digital representation of the horizon (high field of view). Digital periscopes can also provide digitized analysis tools for vessel (contact) range and course estimates. The current research compared the impact of a digital representation of a conventional periscope view with an alternative digital periscope prototype that displayed a larger (360°) field of view and provided digital analysis tools, on performance, perceived workload and system usability. Two experiments were conducted in a simulated submarine control room environment. In Experiment 1, the high field of view periscope yielded faster contact detection times, with no cost to the perceived workload or usability associated with the task of contact detection. In Experiment 2, the digitized analysis tools supported more accurate contact course and range estimates and lowered perceived workload, with no impact on perceived usability. These outcomes indicate that digitally augmenting the periscope is a technological innovation that can potentially facilitate submariner tasks, and highlight the benefits of applying knowledge from perceptual and cognitive science to the design of future digital periscope prototypes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)114-136
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Cognitive Engineering and Decision Making
Issue number2
Early online date4 Mar 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 Mar 2024


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