Objectives and content
The development of measures of operator behaviour is a major issue in human factors. Most current measures are based on subjective ratings (e.g. of workload or situational awareness) or on the speed and accuracy of performance. It can be argued, however, that Eye-Point-Of-Gaze (EPOG), a relatively neglected measure that addresses the scanning behaviour of the operator, provides useful information on both information-gathering strategies and moment-to-moment changes in attention. Since pilots get most information through the visual channel, EPOG measurements are especially suited to be investigated for use in cockpits.
EPOG measurement could be applied in civil aviation to permit human factors specialists, designers and trainers to assess the impact of man-machine interface design and training procedures on information acquisition processes and hence aircrew awareness during night. The major objectives of the proposed research programme are to investigate the use of EPOG as a measure of aircrew information processing, and to develop optimised analytical techniques to characterise operator awareness based on the duration and frequency of fixations and the patterns of visual scanning over time. The techniques developed in this research will utilise existing equipment and will be validated in glass cockpit simulators. The approach adopted will be to assess EPOG in combination with other selected human effectiveness measures, such as training measures and response times to incidents in simulation, to ensure that the particular benefits of EPOG measurement can be clearly identified.
The expected result is a validated measurement methodology, which will enable:
- detection of design flaws and determination of essential training areas during the development phase of cockpits,
-optimisation of training procedures through:
-addressing of essential training areas,
-feed-back on subjects progress during training sessions.
If the methodology is accepted on an European scale (through the JAA), major reductions in certification cost can be achieved. In short VINTHEC will make the European aeronautical industry more competitive.
The consortium comprises a manufacturer of airframes and aircraft systems (British Aerospace), a developer of EPOG and human awareness measurement techniques (Mooij & Associates), several aerospace and scientific R&D establishments with great experience in the assessment of operator effectiveness (NLR, DRA, FOA, and Lule°a University of Technology), and an end-user (Saab-Scania AB). The selection of those partners ensures expert knowledge of essential aspects of the problem whilst avoiding duplication. The results of VINTHEC will be public to the European industry.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
BS35 7QW Bristol
581 11 Linkoeping
GU14 6TD Farnborough
971 87 Luleä
2341 GH Oegstgeest
581 88 Linköping