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Monocular Cues which assist crewmembers with distance estimation and depth perception:
Retinal Image Size
An object appears to have a different shape when it is viewed at varying distances and from different angles.
(3) Types of Geometric Perspective (LAV):
Vertical Position in the Field
Parallel lines such as railroad tracks tend to converge as distance from the observer increases.
The shape of an object or terrain feature apears elliptical (oval and narrow) when viewed from a distance at both higher and lower altitudes.
Vertical Position in the Field:
Objects or terrain features at greater distances from the observer appear higher on the horizon than those closer to the observer.
Retinal Image Size:
An image focused on the retina is perceived by the brain to be of a given size.
(4) Factors that aid in determining distance using Retinal Image Size (KITO):
Known Image Size of Objects
Increasing/Decreasing Size of Objects
Overlapping Contours of Interposition of Objects
Known Size of Objects:
The nearer an object is to the observer, the larger its retinal image. By experience, the brain learns to estimate the distance of familiar objects by the size of their retinal image.
Increasing/Decreasing Size of Objects:
If the retinal image of an object increases in size, the object is moving closer to the observer. If the retinal image decreases, the object is moving further away. If the retinal image is constant, the object is at a fixed distance.
Comparison of one object such as an airfield with another object of known size such as a helicopter helps in determining the relative size and apparent distance of the object from the observer.
Overlapping Contours or Interposition of Objects:
When objects overlap, the overlapped object is further away.
An objects clarity and its shadow are perceived by the brain and cues for estimating distance.
(3) Factors that determine distance with Aerial Perspective (FLP):
Fading of Colors or Shades
Loss of Detail or Texture
Position of Light Source and Direction of Shadow
Fading of Colors or Shades:
An object viewed through haze, fog, or smoke appears less distinct and at a greater distance than it
actually is. Conversely, if atmospheric transmission of light is unrestricted, the object appears more distinct
and closer than it actually is.
Loss of Detail or Texture:
The further an observer is from an object, the less apparent discrete details become.
Position of Light Source and Direction of Shadow:
Every object casts a shadow in the presence of a light source. The direction in which the shadow is
cast depends on the position of the light source. If an object's shadow is cast toward an observer, the object
is closer to the observer than the light source.
Motion parallax is often considered the most important depth perception cue. Motion parallax refers
to the apparent relative motion of stationary objects as viewed by an observer moving across the landscape.
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