Internship | Perception of self-motion and orientation in helicopter pilots

You will participate in a research project with Boeing to better understand how helicopter pilots loose their sense of spatial orientation in conditions of low visibility, for example when flying in fog, or clouds.



Education type

university (wo)


Internship and graduation project

Hours a week

Fulltime – 40


Apply now


What will you be doing?

The overall aim of the project is to develop a mathematical model which automatically analyses the visual environment of a helicopter pilot (as seen from the cockpit), and predicts whether this will induce spatial disorientation. Your role is to perform psychophysical experiments with images to investigate how people perceive the attitude or motion of a helicopter when the visibility is being degraded. The results of your work will be used to "calibrate" the perception model.

What do we require of you?

You are a student in the final stages of your master in Cognitive Psychology, Human Movement Sciences, Biomedical Engineering, or a similar study. You are interested in human (visual) perception, and you would like to apply this to a customer product. We expect that you can perform experiments with human subjects, as well as the data-analysis and statistics, and that you have a pragmatic mentality. In addition we value good communication skills, and the confidence to work in a team.

What can you expect of your work situation?

Your internship will take place within the Perceptual & Cognitive Systems department of TNO, within the AHEAD team. Our team exists of 12 enthusiastic researchers who focus on improving human performance in adverse and demanding environments, whether physical (e.g., aircraft, ships), or virtual (e.g., simulators). The internship is part of a research project with Boeing.

Our department is located at TNO Soesterberg, which often organizes activities such as drinks, laser-gaming, and more. In addition, you will have the opportunity to informally meet and work with TNO researchers, but also other interns which may work on completely other research projects than you.

What can TNO offer you?

You want to work on the precursor of your career; a work placement gives you an opportunity to take a good look at your prospective future employer. TNO goes a step further. It’s not just looking that interests us; you and your knowledge are essential to our innovation. That’s why we attach a great deal of value to your personal and professional development. You will, of course, be properly supervised during your work placement and be given the scope for you to get the best out of yourself. Naturally, we provide suitable work placement compensation.

Application process

For this vacancy it is required that the AIVD issues a security clearance after conducting a security screening. Please visit for more information the AIVD website.

Has this vacancy sparked your interest?

Then please feel free to apply on this vacancy! For further questions don’t hesitate to contact us.

Contact: Eric Groen
Phone number: +31 (0)88-86 65926

Note that applications via email and third party applications are not taken into consideration.


Apply now


Dr. Eric Groen

  • aviation
  • aerospace
  • motion sickness
  • simulation
  • flight safety

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