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  Flight Cognition Laboratory      

The Flight Cognition Laboratory, part of the Human Systems Integration Division at NASA Ames Research Center, is studying the cognitive, team and organizational processes that underlie the performance of pilots, air traffic controllers, and other skilled professionals.  This research involves a combination of well-controlled laboratory studies of basic cognitive mechanisms, theoretical modeling, flight simulation studies, field observations, and analysis of accident and incident reports.  We work closely with airline departments and try to provide a bridge between research and aviation operations, with the goal of improving aviation safety and efficiency.  In addition to writing technical reports, we publish articles written especially for the aviation operations and training communities.  We also work with other user groups, such as medical personnel and process control industries to improve safety.
Our research topics include:

- The challenges of emergency and abnormal situations (EAS)
- Design of operating procedures and checklists
- Training and decision-making
- Technologically advanced aircraft and single-pilot operations
- Prospective memory
- Concurrent task management
- Effects of situational stress on skilled performance
- Visual search and attention
- Checklist use, monitoring, and data entry errors

  Picture of research subject participating in a prospective memory study.  
New Hot Topics-

Performance Data Errors in Air Carrier Operations: Causes and Countermeasures (7/31/2012)

Several airline accidents have occurred in recent years as the result of erroneous weight or performance data used to calculate V-speeds, flap/trim settings, required runway lengths, and/or required climb gradients. Only one of these accidents incurred fatalities, but the potential for future accidents with large numbers of fatalities prompted the French and the Australian aviation authorities to conduct reviews of the risks. We have recently completed an FAA-sponsored study in which we examine and extend studies by accident investigation organizations, report our own study of ASRS-reported incidents, and provide a broad set of countermeasures that can reduce vulnerability to accidents caused by performance data errors. more>>

News & Events  Human factors evaluation of the implementation of the navigation reference system (NRS)
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