Wichita State’s He to study controller cognitive processes to improve safety

jibo he
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Jibo He to Conduct R&D on Wearble Devices
for the FAA & Aviation Safety

The More We Know About These Professionals, the Safer Aviation Will Be

jibo he faa coeThe FAA created a Transportation Center of Excellence (COE) for Technical Training and Human Performance with the University of Oklahoma (OU) and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University to lead the research. Wichita State’s psychology Professor Jibo He has been brought in to conduct research and development on head-mounted display and wearable devices used in aviation safety applications.

In his position as Director of WSU’s Human Automation Interaction Laboratory he will track how eye movement and attention work in aviation environments. This original work  will define parameters for application of psychological theories and paradigms to real-world tasks, e.g. human computer interaction. The goal of the lab is to understand human cognitive processes and develop technologies to improve performance, increase user experience, and mitigate human errors. The WSU team will use a head-mounted display (Google Glass) and wearable devices.

The first of Dr. He’s assignments under this COE task will be to examine the decision-making process of air traffic controllers with the goal of improving aviation safety and human performance. In that the job task of controllers will change from their current work to the new different assignments under NextGen, his lab should include the current tower/TRACON/ARTCC positions as well as the future configuration.

jibo he faa atc tower

By using side-by-side comparisons of the relative stresses, workloads, ability to retain a high level of attention and present/future improvements. The results may help the FAA to better design the test/evaluation protocols for hiring new controllers, training them and improving their performances. It may well be that the Google glass has applicability in the work place to assure that the person at the position is fully attentive.

The COE work scope also asks WSU’s HAIL to develop better technologies for pilot safety. They have developed a Traffic Collision Advisory System (TCAS) using Google Glass to alert pilots of potential collisions. Human performance includes a number of other factors and hopefully Dr. He will find areas for improvement in the cockpits of GA and commercial aircraft. The potential for safety enhancements is immense.

The more that safety professionals know about the humans who populate this complex work/recreation environment, the safer aviation will be.


Professor uses technology to improve pilot performance
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