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Effects of Command and Control Vehicle (C2V) Operational Environment on Soldier Health and Performance  (1999)
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"The purpose of this project was to use NASA technology to assist the US Army Program Executive Office for Ground Combat and Support Systems, Project Managers Office, Bradley Fighting Vehicle System, (PM-BFVS), in the assessment of motion sickness incidences within the Command and Control Vehicle (C2V). The C2V contains four workstations where military personnel are expected to perform command decision operations during combat conditions. This research meets the NASA Human Exploration and Development (HEDS) objective of transferring NASA technology to Earth-based applications. The present study also serves as a demonstration of this technology for evaluating environmental impact on individuals serving as either passengers or crew on land, sea, air and space vehicles.

A recently completed study conducted at the Yuma Proving Grounds (Cowings, Toscano & DeRoshia, 1998), demonstrated that NASAís methods employed for assessment of environmental impact on soldier health and performance could be successfully conducted under operational field test conditions. Eight active duty military men (US Army) at the Yuma Proving Grounds in Arizona participated in this study. All subjects were given baseline performance tests while their physiological responses were monitored on the first day. On the second day of their participation subjects rode in the C2V while their physiological responses and performance measures were recorded. Self-reports of motion sickness were also recorded.

Results showed that only one subject experienced two episodes of vomiting. However, seven of the eight subjects reported other motion sickness symptoms. The most frequently reported symptom was drowsiness, which occurred a total of 19 times. Changes in physiological responses were observed relative to motion sickness symptoms reported and the different environmental conditions (i.e., level, hills, and gravel) during the field exercise. Performance data showed an overall decrement during the C2V exercise. These findings suggest that malaise and severe drowsiness can potentially impact the operational efficiency of C2V crew. However, a number of variables (e.g., individualís sleep duration prior to the mission, previous experience in the vehicle) were not controlled and may have influenced the results. Most notable was the fact that subjects with prior experience in the C2V all occupied seat 4 (located furthest forward) which was anecdotally reported to be the least provocative position. Nonetheless, it was possible to determine which factors most likely contributed to the results observed. It was concluded that conflicting sensory information from the subjectís visual displays and movements of the vehicle during the field exercise significantly contributed to motion sickness symptoms observed in both this study and the earlier study conducted at Camp Roberts, by the US Army Research Laboratory (ARL).

The objectives of the Yuma study were successfully met. The use of three converging indicators, (1) physiological monitoring, (2) subject self-reports of symptoms and, (3) measurements of performance, were an effective means of evaluating the incidence of motion sickness and the impact on crew operational capacity in the C2V. It was recommended that a second study be conducted to further evaluate the effect of seat position and orientation on motion sickness susceptibility.

The present study was a modification of the Yuma study using a larger sample population (N=24), and three different vehicle configurations. The primary goal of this investigation was to evaluate the impact of C2V mobile field operations on crew performance, and to determine the effects of vehicle configuration on motion sickness susceptibility, physiology and performance.
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Army, C2V, Command and Control
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Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA: NASA Technical Memorandum 1999-208786, 40 p., 1999
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Curator: Phil So
NASA Official: Alonso Vera
Last Updated: August 15, 2019