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  SHUTTLE MIDAS - Initial Cockpit Upgrade for the Space Shuttle Vehicle
  The Ames Shuttle Cockpit (ASC) Upgrade team has been involved in a Johnson Space Center (JSC)-led cockpit re-design effort focussing on the presentation of information to the astronauts during critical phases of flight. This coordinated effort between NASA Ames Research Center (ARC) and JSC is aimed at improving the current Space shuttle displays to enhance the crew’s situation awareness. The current Caution & Warning (C&W) system is currently non-intuitive and spread over a variety of different systems. There is no centralized single point failure identification available for crew. Annunciator panel lights, fault messages, systems displays, and parameter status indicators must in some cases be pieced together to determine what the failure is. All of this results in information overload. Meanwhile, the system displays are difficult to decipher, requiring considerable training, extensive signature recognition skills and conversion of data to useful information. Guidance, Navigation and Control (GNC) displays are poor and automatically change without warning, and data is scattered throughout the flight deck. Finally, there is no warning or guidance/autopilot limiting when approaching a stall on entry.

The Shuttle Upgrade Program was created to reduce these cockpit display problems by designing a new generation of cockpit displays. The primary design goals are to:

* Reduce crew workload
* Increase crew vehicle and systems SA
* Enhance Crew Resource Management
* Increase flight crew autonomy
* Computer assist or automate complex procedures

In order to evaluate the design effect on human performance, the ASC Upgrade team prepared a MIDAS human performance model designed to quantify the workload effects of the changes in the display technology being introduced. The current modeling effort resulted in a dynamic simulation of the human agent JACK  as he interacts with the new display suite. Click on the movie below to download the MIDAS movie.

Shuttle MIDAS Image

Shuttle MIDAS - MIDAS Screen Layout (click here for scenario description)

Shuttle MIDAS - MIDAS Screen Layout - In this scenario we see four screens (called viewer windows) related to an operator agent's environment (MIDAS has implemented JACK® as the agent operator in this instantiation). There are four viewer windows in this scenario of the agent as he monitors the cockpit of the Space Shuttle. Starting in the top left, we can see a window of the agent's profile and crewstation as he visually scans the interior environment. The top right screen demonstrates the view from the agent's eyes. This screen demonstrates the operator agent's interior visual scan pattern and fixation points. Changes in the environment get encoded by the agent and update the world representation if the information falls within his attention cones. These changes also trigger workload associated with respective tasks and procedures that the agent is performing. The bottom right screen indicates the workload output along a six-channel representation of workload as the agent deals with the environmental events. The six channels of workload include visual input, auditory input, spatial cognitive processing, verbal cognitive processing, motor output, and voice output. The bottom left viewer window demonstrates the agent's Situation Awareness (SA). This is calculated by taking a calculation (ratio) of perceived SA versus actual SA. Generally speaking this perceived will be lower than the actual SA as the theory upon which this is based indicates that people generally think they know more about their surroundings than they actually do know (see Shively, Brickner & Silbiger, 1997).  
  POC- Rob McCann        
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