Impact of Night Vision Devices on Individual and Group Movement and Separation on the Battlefield

Incidence de Dispositifs de Vision Nocturne sur le Mouvement et l’Espacement des Individus et des Groupes sur le Champ de Bataille


  1. Vilhena, P.G.S.
  2. Angel, H.A.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Toronto, Toronto ONT (CAN);Humansystems Inc, Guelph ONT (CAN)
A twelve-day field trial was undertaken at Fort Benning, Georgia over the period of 26 April to 18 May 2004. Data from eight regular force infantry NCOs and Officers from 3rd Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry Regiment, Edmonton, Alberta, were used in this part of the SIREQ-TD FBES VII Experiment. A total of 48 soldiers participated in two night operations conducted in a wooded area using a standard Platoon organizational structure. Two different levels of ‘enabled capabilities’ (i.e., all members equipped with Night Vision Goggles (NVGs) versus two members with NVGs) were tested in a repeated measures design. Data collection methods included questionnaires and human factors observer assessments of individual separation. The results of this trial indicated that tactical spacing between individuals increased significantly when participants used night vision goggles (NVGs). NVGs also improved intra-section visual communications. If precise measurement of tactical spacing is required for modelling efforts, then further studies will be required using accurate measurement tools. Future studies could also examine the impact of different terrain types, vegetation densities and illumination conditions on individual separation.

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Soldier Information Requirements Technology Demonstration Project;SIREQ TD;Night Vision Goggles;NVG;navigation;wayfinding;recce;reconnaissance patrol;tactical spacing
Report Number
DRDC-TORONTO-CR-2005-059 — Contractor Report
Date of publication
01 May 2005
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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