Army researchers showcase MANPRINT at Pentagon
July 23, 2013
- Modeling and simulation tools make it possible to examine a system design very early, before bending any metal or building prototypes and that ultimately results in better designed equipment for the Warfighter.
- Important to insert MANPRINT very early in the acquisition process, achieves significant cost savings for the program.
- HSI mobile apps under development will support MANPRINT.
Researchers from the Manpower and Personnel Integration (MANPRINT) Methods and Analysis Branch—part of the U.S. Army Research Laboratory's (ARL) Human Research and Engineering Directorate—recently participated in the Joint Human Systems Integration (HSI) display at the Pentagon. This annual event focuses on highlighting HSI as it is implemented across all of the services.
The event was sponsored by Dr. Michael Drillings, director of the Army G-1 MANPRINT Directorate. In addition to displays provided by the Navy Human Systems Integration Office, the Air Force Human Systems Integration Office, the 711th Human Performance Wing, and the U.S. Marine Corps, Drillings invited HRED to showcase its tools and methodologies that are used to support MANPRINT. These include computer-based workspace analysis using the human figure model JACK, the human performance modeling tool, Improved Performance Research Integration Tool (IMPRINT) and HSI mobile applications.
Computer-based workspace analysis using human figure modeling was presented. This approach combines human figure modeling along with digitized clothing and equipment integrated into 3-D computer-aided design platform models, which help MANPRINT practitioners ensure requirements for fit, reach and vision accommodation are met early in the life-cycle development phase of system acquisition.
IMPRINT is a dynamic, stochastic, discrete event network modeling tool that assesses the interaction of Warfighter and system performance throughout the system life cycle—from concept and design to field testing and system upgrades.
"Through both of these types of modeling, concept designs of the system can be analyzed before physical prototypes are built, helping programs to save time and development costs," said Charneta Samms, a veteran researcher and acting chief of the MANPRINT Methods and Analysis Branch.
ARL researcher Chris Garneau, who presented HSI mobile applications, found the event to be a valuable experience for him. It was also his first visit to the Pentagon.
"As a relatively new member of the ARL workforce, this event represented a unique opportunity to demonstrate my work on mobile apps for human systems integration to high-level civilian and military Army officials and hear their feedback," said Garneau. "I really valued the opportunity to represent the work that ARL is doing in the area of HSI to high-level Army officials at the Pentagon."
Garneau said that the HSI mobile applications under development will support MANPRINT and will provide researchers with data collection and analysis tools that can be easily taken into the field on tablet computers. He indicated that two such applications are the Job Assessment Software System and the MIL-STD 1472 Anthropometry Resource Companion.
"JASS enables an evaluator to define and measure human aptitudes required to do a job, which encourages the efficient allocation of manpower and may aid the researcher in determining training schedules or high-skill tasks that require simplification," said Garneau. "MARC will better equip designers and evaluators of military systems with an up-to-date and interactive resource for the proper application of body size data."
Also attending the event for a third year was Richard Kozycki of HRED, who was equally excited.
"It was a great opportunity for us to speak with high-level DOD leaders throughout the services to emphasize the importance of the HSI process and the role of MANPRINT in the systems acquisition process," said Richard Kozycki.
Kozycki emphasized the importance of the team sharing its capabilities and being able to impress upon others how important it is to insert MANPRINT very early in the acquisition process.
"The modeling and simulation tools such as the ones that we demonstrated at the event make it possible to examine a system design very early, before bending any metal or building prototypes and that ultimately results in better designed equipment for the Warfighter and achieves significant cost savings for the program," said Kozycki.
Samms indicated that Drillings invites HRED to represent MANPRINT at this event every year because he wants senior leaders and executives to understand the analytic rigor that goes into the MANPRINT assessments he uses to influence system acquisition milestones.
"Extremely difficult decisions are made at very high levels and it is important that they are made with valid and reliable data, said Samms. "This yearly event is an excellent opportunity for HRED to demonstrate the research and analysis conducted to ensure the Army is building and fielding the best systems for the Warfighter. I am always excited to talk about the work we do at HRED, because it helps people understand the importance of designing systems with the Warfighter in mind, not as an afterthought."
ARL is part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, which has the mission to develop technology and engineering solutions for America's Soldiers.
RDECOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command. AMC is the Army's premier provider of materiel readiness—technology, acquisition support, materiel development, logistics power projection and sustainment—to the total force, across the spectrum of joint military operations. If a Soldier shoots it, drives it, flies it, wears it, eats it or communicates with it, AMC provides it.
MANPRINT is the U.S. Army's Human Systems Integration Directorate, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-1. Its mission is to establish policies and procedures for AR 602-2, Human Systems Integration (the MANPRINT) in the System Acquisition Process and to exercise primary staff responsibilities for the Soldier-Oriented Research and Development in Personnel Performance and Training (SORD), AR 70-8.