NASA SBIR 2005 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Crew Systems Technologies for Improved Aviation Safety
PROPOSAL TITLE:Scenario-based Performance Observation Tool for Learning in Team Environments?Aerospace Crew-centered Technologies (SPOTLITE-ACT)

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
12 Gill Street, Ste 1400
Woburn ,MA 01801 - 1728
(781) 935 - 3966

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. Amy   Alexander
12 Gill Street Ste 1400
Woburn, MA  01801 -1728
(781) 496 - 2471

The insertion of new technology in the cockpit, especially "smart" technology designed to become an additional crewmember, will necessarily impact flight-related operations and crew functioning. We propose to develop an observer-based assessment tool, and associated measures, that will allow National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) researchers to assess the impact of new technologies on crew resource management (CRM) performance. This is particularly important because the new FAA Advisory Circular on CRM training specifically calls for specialized training and evaluation in advanced technology cockpits (AC 120-51E, Page12, Part 13c). Our proposed approach is innovative in two respects. First, in contrast to existing measures of CRM performance, the measures will be sensitive to performance effects related to the insertion of crew-centered technologies in the cockpit. Second, the performance measures will be implemented in a hand-held PC instrument, the Scenario-based Performance Observation Tool for Learning in Team Environments?Aerospace Crew-centered Technologies (SPOTLITE-ACT), with a relational database that will allow for easy collection, storage, and retrieval of experimental data. SPOTLITE-ACT will provide NASA researchers with the capability to measure and evaluate the effects of crew-centered technologies on pilot performance.

The SPOTLITE-ACT tool will allow NASA to conduct human factors research and examine the impacts of new cockpit technologies on crew resource management (CRM) performance. The tool will be implemented on a tablet PC with a relational database allowing for ease of data collection, storage, and retrieval in both operational and simulation environments. SPOTLITE-ACT will allow NASA to compare performance within and across technologies, pilot groups, and operation-types. Furthermore, the tool provides a flexible software framework for the future addition of other measurement "modules" for assessing performance under different conditions and in different domains. For example, another SPOTLITE module can be developed to analyze air traffic controllers' performance during sector handoff procedures. SPOTLITE-ACT will be relevant for vehicle safety technologies such as synthetic vision systems (SVS) and cockpit displays of traffic information (CDTIs), as well as other NASA-sponsored projects.

The SPOTLITE-ACT tool will appeal to customers who need to assess the impact of new crew-centered technologies on CRM performance and those who develop and conduct training for pilots on new crew-centered technologies. Aerospace system designers can benefit by using the proposed tool to analyze technology-related effects on performance throughout the development cycle. Government or industry personnel concerned with technology implementation and certification can use the proposed tool to compare performance observed with the new technology to that obtained with other new or existing options. Additionally, complex human-machine systems or organizations like an air traffic control tower, power plant control center, or hospital emergency room would benefit from an analysis of the effects of emerging technologies on human performance.

NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.

Portable Data Acquisition or Analysis Tools

Form Printed on 09-19-05 13:12