Researchers from the Newcastle Cognition Lab and the School of Psychology at the University of Newcastle lead industry collaboration with aviation-giant Airbus and sensor-house Hensoldt.
Earlier this month, UoN researchers Ami Eidels and Scott Brown, along with PhD students Zachary Howard and Reilly Innes, had spent a week in Airbus' helicopter-simulator facility in Brisbane, testing the effects of degraded visual environment on pilots' performance. The team combined forces with experts from Airbus and Hensoldt to assess cognitive workload during various flight scenarios, and to evaluate the synthetic reality portrayed on the helmet visor using on-board sensing equipment as part of the Hensoldt Sferion System.
The testing was preceded by the signing of a Teaming Agreement between Airbus, Hensoldt, and the University of Newcastle (represented by DVC-R Prof Kevin Hall), during the Pacific2017 exhibition in Sydney.
This pioneering work intends to shed light on how much the new synthetic environment will help to keep pilots, crew and passengers safe in the most demanding scenarios that are the cause of many accidents. This work is also a continuing demonstration of how industry and academia work together to answer to the ever demanding needs and requirements of real-world operators.
Teaming Agreement signing in Pacific2017. From left: Prof Kevin Hall, Deputy Vice Chancellor Research and Innovation at the University of Newcastle, Mr Marc Condon from Hensoldt Sensors GmbH, and Mr Tony Fraser, Managing Director of Airbus Australia Pacific.
The Newcastle research team next to Hensoldt's stand in Pacific2017. From left: Ami Eidels, Scott Brown, Zach Howard, and Reilly Innes.
The simulator testing environment.