A Procedure for Collecting Mental Workload Data During an Experiment That Is Comparable to IMPRINT Workload Data

Report No. ARL-TR-5020
Authors: Diane Kuhl Mitchell; Brooke Abounader; Shanell Henry; Asisat Animashaun
Date/Pages: November 2009; 34 pages
Abstract: U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) analysts use the Improved Performance Research Integration Tool (IMPRINT) to predict the mental workload and performance of Soldiers operating the Future Combat System (FCS) manned ground vehicles. IMPRINT is a human-performance-modeling tool that analysts use to build models representing Soldiers interacting with equipment to accomplish a mission. The models contain tasks, task sequences, task times, and workload estimates that allow the software to calculate estimates of mental workload and mission performance. One of the key outputs from the IMPRINT models is the combination of tasks likely to contribute to high Soldier workload. Evaluators of FCS equipment can include the potentially high workload task combinations into their evaluations to be sure that they evaluate the tasks mostly like to contribute to mental overload. The U.S. Army Aberdeen Test Center (ATC) is one of the groups responsible for testing and evaluating FCS equipment and concepts. They must identify any issues that might degrade mission performance, including Soldier mental overload. To ensure that the ATC evaluations include tasks relevant to Soldier mental workload they can include high workload task combinations identified by IMPRINT into their test plans. However, to be compatible with IMPRINT, they must evaluate workload by a methodology compatible with the IMPRINT technique. This report outlines the methodology ATC and ARL developed within the Automated Communications Analysis of Situation Awareness /IMPRINT/Joint Warfighter Test and Training Capability test conducted in May 2008.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: November 1, 2009