Human Research and Engineering
The Human Research and Engineering Directorate (HRED) has the lead for two Army Research Laboratory Major Laboratory Programs (MLPs): Human Dimension and Simulation and Training Technology. Fiscal year 2011 marks the first time the Simulation and Training Technology MLP is part of HRED and coincides with the full realignment of the Simulation and Training Technology Center (STTC) within the Directorate. This realignment brings an exciting new synergy among the U.S. Army's leading science and technology (S&T) programs in human performance, human factors, simulation, and training technology.
Research efforts in the Simulation and Training Technology MLP are directed at the conduct of fundamental and applied research as well as technology development. Training is the highest Warfighter outcome identified by U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) for FY11. The pace and diversity of U.S. Army missions require training that is equally rapid, responsive, and tailorable. The advances in computing capability, the proliferation of nearly off-the-shelf platforms for training delivery, known gaps in training effectiveness of current approaches, and the cost of training all drive this research. Key areas of emphasis are intelligent agents for training and testing applications; immersive environments where the level and type of immersion are driven by the goals of using a simulation; the high-demand environment of simulations for the dismounted Soldier, simulations targeted at medical training and at applications where vehicle and terrain fidelity are critical; and advances in providing massive, real-time, distributed simulation for analysis and experimentation.
HRED is organized to conduct a broad-based program of scientific research and technology development directed into three focus areas: (1) enhancing the effectiveness of Soldier performance and Soldier-machine interactions in mission contexts; (2) providing the Army and ARL with human factors integration leadership to ensure that Soldier performance requirements are adequately considered in technology development and system design; and (3) through advanced simulation technology capabilities, enhancing the Soldier experience in training environments, increasing training system performance and cost effectiveness, and increasing Army analysis capability.
Human Dimension and Training, as formalized by TRADOC and as implemented within the Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM), are at the forefront of U.S. Army considerations as concepts are put in place to prepare, equip, and sustain Soldiers in an increasingly complex operational environment. Technology developments that are intended to aid, support, and enable Soldiers will not do so without a concerted S&T program in the Human Dimension and Training domains. HRED must continue to research and understand fundamental human performance; develop and employ new measurement techniques; develop models that describe and predict human performance and behavior in interaction with technology; research and develop simulation prototypes, environments, and supporting models; and apply the volume of lessons learned and best practices early and throughout system design and acquisition.
HRED's scientific research in Soldier performance is directed toward the development of human engineering as well as cognitive and sensory neuroscience technologies and design principles that protect and extend the Soldier's physical, perceptual, cognitive, and psychological performance under hostile and highly stressed conditions. Particular emphasis is on the simultaneous consideration of Soldier physical, cognitive, and social interactions. Results of this research serve to enable the individual Soldier, crew, and battle staff to comprehend and manage vast quantities of information expected to flow across the networked military environment employed in full-spectrum operations. Basic and applied research supports effective integration of the Soldier operator, maintainer, and trainer in evolving Soldier-worn, communication, weapon, and vehicle equipment; and crew station, human and human-system teams, and unit and organizational designs.
Human Factors Integration
HRED is providing the Army and ARL with human factors integration leadership to ensure that Soldier performance requirements are adequately considered in technology development and system design. HRED's human factors analysis, integration, and Manpower and Personnel Integration (MANPRINT) efforts, also under the Human Dimension MLP, are directed toward the development of analysis methods, models, and simulations: the conduct of early assessments of design concepts; the implementation of Soldier performance design principles; the conduct of usability studies; and the evaluation of Solder performance. The objective is to ensure that Soldiers have systems that they can operate effectively and efficiently while mitigating risk to their health, safety, and battlefield survivability. This work is directed towards current force operations as well as future systems.
Simulation and Technology Training
Through advanced simulation technology capabilities, enhancing the Soldier experience in training environments, increasing training system performance and cost effectiveness, and increasing Army analysis capability.
HRED's efforts under the Simulation and Training Technology MLP comprise basic and applied research and technology development across a range of human-centered and simulation-centered considerations. All efforts are directed at advancing simulation-based capability, whether the application is for training, experimentation, analysis, or operational Army needs. Types of applications include artificial intelligence for adaptive training; virtual humans (both visual and behavioral); immersive environments; and simulation elements representing live, virtual, and constructive dismounted, medical, vehicle, and environmental aspects; and advanced, integrated simulation capabilities.