Increased use of unmanned aerial vehicles on the battlefield is driving a transition of human operators into supervisory roles. In these roles, operators will have access to mission data and they will be required to make rapid decisions based on criteria, prior experience, and instincts. To facilitate rapid decisions, an interface must provide information in a format that operators can readily understand. A study was performed to investigate an operator’s ability to rapidly understand flight path data presented in either top-down 2D or perspective 3D. Additionally, the study aimed to explore the benefits of interactivity when observing the 3D scenarios. It was found that participants in the 3D group with automatic camera movement were not more accurate but were faster than participants who saw a top-down 2D view or a 3D view with manual camera control. This suggests that there may be benefits to a 3D interface for displaying three-dimensional path data. It also confirms that providing an interactive interface will not necessarily lead to higher performance, as the user may not use it efficiently.

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