Facilities - Human Sciences

Cognitive Assessment, Simulation, and Engineering Laboratory (APG)

CASEL is a standalone behavioral research facility that provides several capabilities to better understand and improve individual and team performance, Soldiers’ cognitive readiness, and knowledge management in stressful, militarily relevant conditions. CASEL comprises an observation/control room, three test chambers, a simulated-tactical operations center (S-TOC), and an immersive cognitive readiness simulator. Connectivity and video feed among all experimental rooms allows centralized observation and control of research activities. Key research supports the human dimension of mission command, i.e., network science. The observation/ control room can be configured to represent a mission command center; the test chambers provide an isolated area in which to place members of lower echelon assets; the S-TOC layout is designed to simulate the flow of information on the digital battlefield; and the immersive simulator can be configured to represent the Soldier on the ground. These areas represent the geographical dispersion that would occur in actual theater, and thus enable the study of distributed team performance in a network-enabled environment.

Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) Laboratory (APG)

The C4ISR laboratory allows researchers to determine how information affects Soldier performance. The laboratory includes eight whisper rooms where individual subjects can be isolated from one another, a squad leader room, and a control room. Teams as large as a squad interact with the virtual environment through networked rooms, each equipped with a computer and large screen monitor. The laboratory design allows researchers to optimally present information to individual Soldiers and to the aggregated squad to investigate effective squad performance and human systems integration.

Dismounted Infantry Survivability and Lethality Test Bed  (APG)

DISALT is an indoor weapon simulator for studying the effects of weapon configuration on marksmanship performance, without the expense of live-fire. The test bed projects asimulated environment ranging from a standard shooting range to a densely populated urban environment. A high speed weapon tracking system provides real-time continuous weapon aim point data to the weapon computer subsystem while the simulated shooting scenario is running. An electromechanical recoil subsystem and digitized sound data simulate recoil. In addition to data normally collected on a standard shooting range, DISALT measures and records information on where the Soldier is aiming immediately prior to trigger pull.

Dismounted Soldier Training Technologies Test Bed (Florida)

The DST3 enables research, development, and prototyping of next-generation training technologies for the Army and Joint forces dismounted Soldier training communities. Researchers experiment with immersive-related technologies that support an integrated and realistic virtual, constructive training environment. Efforts focus on mixed reality, augmented reality, virtual reality immersive technologies, after-action reviews, artificial intelligence, virtual humans, odor technologies, and non-verbal communications that include gesture, gesture recognition, motion capture, and animation capabilities. DST3 houses a full infantry squad complement of virtual immersive man-wearable simulation systems and man-wearable mixed reality and augmented reality prototypes. The prototypes include integrated locomotion devices, head-mounted display technologies, integrated pose and posture tracking equipment, and integrated game-engine environments. The modular design of these prototypes permits plug and-play of the latest technology innovations and development of baseline capabilities for dismounted Soldier use. Collaborative research uses the Call for Fire Trainer augmented virtual reality simulation, which is a prototype immersive, high fidelity training system.

Environment for Auditory Research Facility (APG)

EAR is an auditory perception and communication research center enabling state-of-the-art simulation of various indoor and outdoor acoustic environments. The heart of EAR is the Control Room—an integrated control center providing complete control of instrumentation and research activities in five unique listening spaces. Four indoor spaces are each focused on different research capabilities and environments, including sound localization, moving sound sources across distances, immersive audio environments, and reverberant environments. One outdoor space allows integration of real and simulated auditory environments. The EAR’s auditory perception and communication research capabilities are unmatched anywhere else in the world.

Learning in Intelligent Tutoring Environment Laboratory (Florida)

The LITE laboratory conducts research and development on adaptive computer-based tools and methods to support oneto- one and one-to-many tutoring environments for tailored, self-regulated learning. The laboratory supports Soldier outcomes established by the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command and uses the Generalized Intelligent Framework for Tutoring, which is a modular, service-oriented architecture that supports authoring, instruction, and analysis. Researchers analyze Soldier learning, performance, and retention and subsequently enhance tutoring systems, instructional strategies, and tactics. They develop best practices and standards with the goal of making tutoring systems, components, and associated tools more widely applicable, affordable, and effective.

Mission Impact through Neuro-Inspired Design Laboratory

The MIND Laboratory facilitates basic and applied research that transitions neuroscience knowledge and approaches from the laboratory to real-world environments. MIND comprises two core elements, the first of which is a multi-chamber and re-configurable experimental space providing state-of-theart electrically- and acoustically-controlled environments specifically designed for maximizing neurophysiological, physiological, and behavioral measurement capabilities and data acquisition. Facilities in this space support a wide range of tasks for single- and multi-participant, multi-disciplinary, translational neuroscience research efforts. MIND’s second core element is a computing laboratory with more than a dozen, 8- and 12-core, large memory capacity Linux workstations and a dedicated multi-core distributed computing server that enables the development, implementation, and utilization of advanced computational and algorithmic approaches. These approaches span the potential utilization of Army high performance computing capabilities to the analysis of the multi-channel, high-dimensional data obtained in the MIND experimental facility.

Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System Reference Test Bed Laboratory (Florida)

The Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System Reference Test Bed Laboratory is a collaborative effort with the Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training and Instrumentation (PEO STRI). The laboratory supports the requirements, improvements, and developments of laser simulations used in Army live training exercises. It characterizes lasers; profiles laser beams; and analyzes, tests, and evaluates laser training equipment in a standard environment and with sufficient fidelity to evaluate metric compliance.

Neural Engineering and Research in Vehicle Environments (APG)

NERVE explores cognitive and neural processing associated with Soldier display design, performance under stress, and operations in complex environments to advance neuroscience research. The facility comprises hardware and software engineering, development, and fabrication areas; a staging area; and a reconfigurable driving course. NERVE maintains three experimental High Mobility Multi-purpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWV’s) that can be configured to provide test bed platforms for the study of novel interface concepts during mounted operations on paved, unpaved, and off-road driving surfaces. Although NERVE is used primarily to support the transition of MIND laboratory research efforts to more operational environments, the facility supports research efforts across ARL.

Shooter Performance Research Facility (M-Range) (APG)

M-Range is an outdoor, live-fire shooting facility for researching the interaction between weapon design and human performance via state-of-the-art marksmanship evaluation. In addition to standard metrics that are collected on a live-fire range (e.g. hits/misses and distance between center of mass and where a round is shot), M-Range is outfitted with acoustical sensors on each target that allow for real-time calculation of round placement through or near a target. Real-time data collection capability not only expedites data collection and analysis, but also provides real-time feedback to the shooter on performance. Targets vary according to distance (between 25 meters and 1,000 meters), time interval, target exposure time, and target sequence.

Soldier Performance and Equipment Advanced Research Facility (APG)

The SPEAR facility enables researchers to study the interactive effects of physical and cognitive stress on Soldier performance in operationally relevant environments. Three components comprise the facility: (1) a state-of-the-art indoor biomechanics laboratory, (2) an outdoor mobility and portability course, and (3) a 2.5-mile crosscountry course that includes an 802.11 WiFi network. This unique combination of components enables researchers to physically and cognitively stress Soldiers while measuring their performance in a minimally intrusive manner. Proximity of these components to one another enables researchers to design studies with a high degree of experimental control in the biomechanics laboratory and a high degree of operational relevance (e.g. traversing rough terrain on a cross-country course while sending and receiving information over a sensor and communication network).

System Assessment and Usability Laboratory (APG)

SAUL is a multi-functional space designed to conduct Manpower and Personnel Integration (MANPRINT) assessments on graphical user interface (GUI) designs, perform software testing of Human System Integration (HSI) tools, and execute usability studies on software user interfaces. SAUL comprises two research areas: (1) the usability research area is a reconfigurable space with up to six isolated cells monitored from a control room and instrumented for observation of user-computer interaction; various types of interface devices are available to replicate the system being assessed, and (2) the software test area comprises mobile devices and computers with various operating systems in multiple network configurations to support development and testing of in-house HSI tools and customer software. By combining the space of the usability research area and the software test area, SAUL converts into a twelve-station computer training area equipped with video teleconferencing and instructor controlled access. The training area shares data across all stations from a central computer to facilitate software training, multimedia exchange, and distance learning.

Tactical Environmental Simulation Facility (APG)

The centerpiece of the Tactical Environmental Simulation Facility is an Omni-Directional Treadmill (ODT) that allows Soldiers to walk or crawl naturally in a simulated environment. The ODT is integrated with 360 degrees virtual visual and auditory environments to enable repeatable, controlled investigations of critical issues for dismounted Soldiers. This facility allows investigation of the interaction of physical and cognitive stress on Soldier performance in a controlled laboratory environment while imposing more realistic physical loads (e.g. from Soldier-borne equipment) on Soldiers than those experienced in simulators that do not allow for natural movement.

 

Note:

APG - Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD