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Unlocking Aviation Performance

Unlocking Aviation Performance

Unlocking the Measures behind Aviation Performance

Aptima’s “Human-System Performance Assessment” capability offers new insights from big data

International Symposium on Aviation Psychology, Dayton OH, May 4, 2015 – What are the early indicators that an air traffic controller will shortly become overloaded? And how can technology predict and assist the human before performance degrades?

These are some of the questions that are being answered by a new approach to human performance measurement that’s providing insights into human and technical system interaction.

Aptima’s Human Systems Performance Assessment (HSPA) is a unique capability for measuring the complete state of a pilot or air traffic controller, producing a rich picture of performance defined by task execution, communications behavior, workload, and cognitive and physiological functioning.

“Machines are on the path from tools to teammates, yet simply introducing more technology or automation without understanding its impact can create its own problems,” said Aptima CEO Michael J. Paley. “Designing for optimal human-machine collaboration requires greater insight into the dynamics of performance and what impacts it.”

HSPA enables rich, timely evaluations in complex system-based work environments. Aptima’s unique blend of tools, technologies and services offers a powerful way to optimize human-system performance

Human-System Performance Assessment in Action

In an air traffic control or flight simulation, the HSPA system collects raw data from the simulator as well as sensors monitoring eye movement, heart rate, respiration and neural activity. Algorithms interpret this combined data stream, graphically mapping and illuminating the relationship between human performance, stressors and situational demands.

“There’s far more to understanding human performance than what’s revealed to the eye or reflected in a simple summary score at the end of an exercise. By translating large amounts of data into accurate assessments, we can diagnose what’s causing high workload stress or human error, to better understand the fit between the human and the system and where to augment for improved performance,” Paley added.

In practical application, HSPA can be used in commercial aviation research and development to assess cockpit design, or to test the impact of new devices or technologies on human performance. In a live operational setting, such as air traffic control center, HSPA may serve as an alerting function enabling automation to kick in and reassign or shed tasks before overload compromises performance.

“With the era of wearable sensors, what once was a data scarcity problem is now becoming a big data opportunity,” said Paley. “Physiological measures can be effective signatures to identify when an operator is experiencing an overload or a lull.”

The ‘Sense-Assess-Augment’ Framework

At the Air Force Research Laboratory, HSPA is being used to validate the ‘Sense-Assess-Augment’ framework developed by Scott M. Galster and Erica M. Johnson within AFRL’s Human Universal Measurement and Assessment Network (HUMAN) Laboratory. In this test bed facility, unmanned aerial system (UAS) operators are closely monitored and measured during UAS mission simulation. In real-time, HSPA correlates the relationship between the mission task demands and the operator’s neuro-physiological responses and performance. The findings from this ‘Sense-Assess-Augment’ framework are being used to develop technology systems and interfaces to improve UAS operator performance and enable control of a greater number of unmanned assets.

WHAT: The 18th International Symposium on Aviation Psychology
WHERE: Wright State University, Student Union Building, Dayton, OH
WHEN: May 4 – 7, 2015

To learn more about Human-System Performance Assessment watch our video.