February 15, 2012
The Army Research Laboratory's unique computer-based tool helps the military not only make smarter purchasing decisions, their tool integrates human factors into system design and operational use so systems are first built right.
ARL's software tool, IMPRINT, is a dynamic, discrete event network modeling tool designed to take a close look at how Soldiers interact with planned new systems by involving the Soldier interface throughout the system lifecycle ??? from concept and design to field testing and system upgrades. In 1995, the software demonstrated that upgrades to the Gulf War's primary nuclear, biological and chemical reconnaissance vehicle were worthwhile investments. Analysts in ARL's Human Research and Engineering Directorate conducted IMPRINT analysis on the then-proposed FOX M93A1, and showed that wartime manpower and operations planners could reduce the crew size in the wheeled armored vehicle from four to three Soldiers, and that adding fully automated standoff detection capabilities for immediate analysis and warning of contamination would not impede upon Soldier performance.