The Warfighter Human System Integration Laboratory (WHSIL) seeks to develop and evaluate methods and technologies that support small teams during training and actual missions. Warfighters operate in uniquely stressful environments which have detrimental effects on their ability to perform. The operational environment includes such demands/stressors as temperature extremes, motion sickness, and sleep deprivation, all of which impact their cognitive load and ability to perform. Furthermore, these demands are constantly evolving as new technologies add to the capabilities of small units and individual warfighters, while at the same time creating information overload problems.
The WHSIL is interested in measuring warfighter cognitive load and performance, understanding how the operational environment impacts performance, and ultimately improving warfighter performance through training or with new technology. WHSIL has supported a diverse range of warfighters from Infantry units in the Marine Corps
to unmanned vehicle operators in the Navy.
Specifically, we are:
- Conducting research into the behavioral and physiological correlates of effective team interactions and team training
- Using this knowledge to derive new technologies and new principles for effective team training and operational tasking
- Evaluating the impact of different training technologies and techniques on learning
WHSIL’s research is conducted in both field experimentation and in the laboratory. WHSIL has access to a number of different physiological tools which can be used for data collection in the field or live training environments. These include wearable eye tracking systems, heart rate variability sensors, and a mobile Electroencephalography (EEG) system. These systems can be used to evaluate individual and team workload, attention, and performance in realistic operational settings.
WHSIL houses a suite of four configurable simulation stations. These stations can be set up to test a diverse range of warfighter tasks/missions. WHSIL’s current focus is on evaluating operator and team performance within current and future scenarios involving autonomous systems. The configurable stations allow for multi-monitor displays, touch screen interfaces and wide field of view eye tracking.