The future crew is expected to support operations in highly complex, mixed-agent system environments that are heavily influenced by strong socio-cultural factors and continual technological advances. A primary barrier in the development of future WMI technologies comes from challenges that arise when the technological complexity and informational load supplied by the WMI reaches the point where it outstrips the ability of the operator to effectively and efficiently interact (for discussion see McDowell et al 2007). The Two-Soldier Crew area attempts to overcome this barrier through its focus on individualized WMI technologies that adapt to the dynamic state of a specific operator mixed with computationally-intelligent architectures and agents to compliment and supplement Soldier abilities. The overarching goal of the area is to maximize the emergent performance of a human-system team realized as two vehicle-based crew members working with a system of intelligent software or "virtual" agents and a highly networked “family” of intelligent physical agents including both manned and unmanned ground and aerial vehicles along with remote sensing and weapons capabilities.
Two-Soldier Crew POC: Jason Metcalfe, Victor Paul
Examples of WMI concepts developed to provide the ability to conduct mission planning, route planning, reconnaissance, surveillance, and target recognition, and fire control capabilities. The flexibility of current crew station solutions results in tremendous functionality that includes functions requiring imagery that make relatively large, prominent screen space claims, (e.g., vehicle teleoperation displays, mission planning, vehicle sensor controls, local area and 3D situational awareness monitoring, multiple-vehicle formations control, robotics control asset list) and secondary functions that can be minimized to preserve screen space (i.e., asset maps, route plan maps, and warnings, cautions and alerts). Future WMI concepts are expected to support a range of functions while overcoming critical military relevant factors. Examples include:
- Secure Mobility: Military vehicle crews, beyond civilian concerns associated with basic driving and navigation, have the added expectations of maintaining awareness sufficient to ensure safety of their own vehicle, platoon, and any robotic or other assets that they may be within their purview (McDowell, Nunez, Hutchins, Metcalfe, 2008).
- Operational Variability: From various operational tempos to multiple, temporally overlapping and, in some cases, competing tasks, the modern Soldier crews face a vast range of variability in military operational environments.
- Distributed Teaming: Future missions are expected to require the crew to team with other non-co-located individuals as well as physical and virtual agents. The team will have to effectively overcome differing member capabilities, knowledge, perspectives and frames of reference on the problem environment as well as the dynamics of potentially imperfect communications streams.