Visualizing Probability of Detection to Aid Sonar Operator Performance

Kingsley I. Fletcher, Megan L. Bartlett, Susan J. Cockshell, Jason S. McCarley

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


This study tested whether the display of rings indicating the probability of target detection would improve human performance on a simulated active sonar detection task. Participants viewed a series of simulated sonar returns and decided whether a target was present or not. Participants performed the task both with and without uncertainty range rings that indicated 90% and 10% detectability ranges. The probability of detection rings did not improve the overall ability of participants to distinguish targets from noise, but did appear to influence response bias and spatial attention. These results suggest that displaying probability of detection may not be an effective way of improving the performance of sonar system operators.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)302-306
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2017
EventHuman Factors and Ergonomics Society 61st Annual Meeting - JW Marriott Hotel, Austin, United States
Duration: 9 Oct 201713 Oct 2017


  • Sonar operator performance
  • sensor and display technology
  • visualizing probability


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