A moving platform - like a ship or an aircraft - exerts a profound influence on our sense of balance and orientation. The human body strongly reacts to movement, leading to e.g. spatial disorientation, fatigue, a fall, reduced vision and/or motion sickness. TNO develops the knowledge needed to understand these issues in order to counter these as much as possible. The ultimate aim: more and better comfort, health, performance and safety on a moving platform.
Motion sickness has many forms, such as car sickness, air sickness, sea sickness, space sickness, simulator sickness and cyber sickness. Symptoms range from tired eyes, disorientation and dizziness to nausea and vomiting. Motion sickness is not just unpleasant, it may also be dangerous. An airline passenger vomiting does not constitute much of a risk. If, however, the radar operator on board of a warship is not able to perform due to seasickness, this may bring about disaster. That is why TNO investigates all aspects of motion sickness. Applying the knowledge gathered by TNO will lead to more and better comfort, performance, health and safety on moving platforms.
A few examples of how TNO expertise is applied are:
- the creation of a mathematical model that predicts the percentage of sick people taking real or assumed 6-DoF motion profiles
- with this model ship designs have been optimised to cause the least possible sickness among crew and passengers
- the creation of an unique car sickness indicator that tells drivers if their driving behavior is likely to induce nausea
- TNO expertise is applied in the design and evaluation of amusement park attractions
- with TNO knowledge, pilots and crews on ships learn to handle motion sickness and spatial (dis)orientation. By taking the right precautionary measures they can perform better than before
- the creation of an extended artificial horizon to be displayed on a screen aboard any type vehicle with limited outside view. This display has been proven to reduce sickness, even outperforming anti motion sickness medication. The same display increases the situation awareness of pilots and ship's crews in degraded visual environments.