Accuracy and Similarity of Team Situation Awareness in Simulated Air Combat

Heikki Mansikka, Don Harris, Kai Virtanen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Fighter pilots’ Team Situation Awareness (TSA ) has been studied from the perspective of TSA accuracy, which represents how closely the pilots’ collective knowledge is aligned with the real world. When TSA accuracy is low, the pilots can have similarly or dissimilarly inaccurate SA. The concept of TSA similarity represents the similarity of team members’ collective knowledge. This paper investigates how TSA accuracy and similarity of F/A-18 pilots are associated with performance. METHOD: Data were extracted from simulated air combat missions. Performance and TSA were investigated in 58 engagements. The accuracy and similarity of pilots’ SA were elicited and performance was evaluated. TSA accuracy and similarity were analyzed with respect to the flights’ performance, and the independent variables were events in which the flights initiated engagements with enemy aircraft versus events in which the flights were engaged by enemy aircraft. RESULTS: With the mentioned events as the main effect, there were statistically significant differences at all levels of TSA accuracy and similarity. With performance as the main effect, there were also significant differences at all levels of TSA accuracy and similarity. TSA accuracy and similarity were superior in offensive engagements and when engagements were successful. DISCUSSION: T he main contribution of this paper is the extension of the concept of TSA similarity to air combat: both TSA similarity and accuracy were higher when the flight was engaging the enemy aircraft, compared to situations when the flight itself was being engaged. The results also suggest that low TSA accuracy and similarity have a statistically significantly negative impact on the flights’ performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)429-436
Number of pages8
JournalAerospace medicine and human performance
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2023

Bibliographical note

Copyright © and Moral Rights are retained by the author(s) and/ or other copyright owners. A copy can be downloaded for personal non-commercial research or study, without prior permission or charge. This item cannot be reproduced or quoted extensively from without first obtaining permission in writing from the copyright holder(s). The content must not be changed in any way or sold commercially in any format or medium without the formal permission of the copyright holders.

This document is the author’s post-print version, incorporating any revisions agreed during the peer-review process. Some differences between the published version and this version may remain and you are advised to consult the published version if you wish to cite from it.


  • air combat
  • team performance output
  • team situation awareness accuracy
  • team situation awareness similarity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Accuracy and Similarity of Team Situation Awareness in Simulated Air Combat'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this