Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division (Orlando, FL)

Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division (Orlando, FL)

Only U.S. citizens will be considered for positions at this lab. No Dual Citizens will be considered for this facility.

Current Research Interests are as follows:

Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division (NAWCTSD) is the principal Navy facility for research, development, acquisition and logistics support of training systems. NAWCTSD is endowed with a strong engineering and applied psychological research professional staff that provide the Navy with state-of-the-art concepts, methods, and technologies to support Fleet needs via enhanced training. Active support and research efforts address the requirements of aviation, surface fleet, and submarine warfighting domains.

NAWCTSD performs a full range of research and development activities: basic research, applied research, advanced development, prototype development, and technology transfer across a wide range of subjects related to training systems, to include:

·         Intelligent Tutoring and Adaptive Training

·         Cross-Cultural Competence

·         Live, Virtual, and Constructive (LVC) Distributed Training

Ø  LVC Enabling Capability

Ø  Semi-Automated Force Behavioral Fidelity

Ø  Distributed Simulation

·         Neurocognitive Assessment

·         Immersive, Augmented Reality, Multi-Sensory Training Environments

·         Distributed and Deployable Training Technologies

·         Scenario-Based Training

Ø  Game-Based Training

·         Performance Measurement, Prediction, and Improvement

·         Human Factors Evaluations

Ø  Human Computer Interaction

Ø  Usability

·         Human Systems Integration

·         Natural Language Processing for Training Devices

·         Digital Communications

·         Weapons Simulation

·         Unmanned Aerial Systems 

Below are specific examples of the research and development being done at NAWCTSD:

Intelligent Tutoring and Adaptive Training

Research addresses techniques for improving student interactions with intelligent tutor systems, techniques for optimizing student feedback, individual differences in receptivity, and aptitude for adaptive training. Additional work addresses collaborative learning activities; simulation-based activities; human tutors and tutoring strategies; and the role of natural language dialogues. These efforts include but are not limited to the Basic Electricity and Electronics Tutorial – Human Computers and Speech (BEETLE HSC)/ Effectiveness of a Tutorial Dialogue in Electricity (ETUDE), Promoting Expert Reasoning in Science Education using Simulation (PERSEUS), as well as Tutoring Effectively: An Assessment of Common Heuristics (TEACH), a project seeking to evaluate the value of feedback and scaffolding in a tutorial setting.

Additional adaptive training efforts are being conducted for submarine navigator and pilot training, as well as Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Combat Information Centers (CIC), including Adaptive Training for Submarine Navigation & Piloting (ATSNAP) and Adaptive Training for Combat Information Centers (ATCIC). ATSNAP aims to advance the capability of existing and future simulation-based training programs used by the submarine community by improving performance assessment as well as instructional adaptivity, and to provide intelligently adaptive training for the Piloting and Navigation team during surfaced submarine operations. ATCIC is an effort to investigate, develop and transition individual and team level adaptive training methods and technologies to the LCS in order to support efficient and effective tailored training focused on key skills necessary to support training criteria.

Related efforts examine the use of mobile devices to provide for spaced repetition of instructional content through flashcard-like mobile-device-enhanced training, as well as the role of aptitudes in intuitive decision-making. NAWCTSD also conducts work on organizational learning.

Cross-Cultural Competence

NAWCTSD researchers are also evaluating cross cultural competence, including individual differences and training design for enhancement of cross-cultural competence in operational environments. Work is underway addressing the relationship of cultural distance between decision makers and other parties to trust decisions.

Live, Virtual, and Constructive (LVC) Distributed Training

LVC training capability is the appropriate and efficient integration and interoperability of real and synthetic people and systems in order to more effectively train Navy forces.

An Aviation Warfare Training Development (AWTD) F/A-18C TOFT Fidelity analysis effort is underway to quantify the training value added by high-definition visual systems and motion cueing seats, with special emphasis on mobility training tasks for field carrier landing practice (FCLP) and carrier qualification simulator events.

LVC Enabling Capability: NAWCTSD is conducting research to define the science and technology questions that underpin products of the three Office of Naval Research LVC enabling capability product pillars: Virtual Constructive Representations on Live Avionics Displays, Cognitive Fidelity of Synthetic Environments, and Tactically Behaving Semi-Automated Forces. Goals include understanding the safety concerns of blending L, V and C environments and developing mitigation strategies, understanding the virtual fidelity training needs for carrier-based landings, and developing a generative semi-automated force (SAF) behavior capability that accounts for trainee needs.

SAF Behavioral Fidelity: Additional efforts in SAF tactical behavioral fidelity seek to adapt existing authoring and monitoring tools to facilitate model-based SAF behavior authoring, and updating P-8A and TERS model fidelity instructors’ tools to include improved SAF behaviors. Work aims to improve the processes of requirements definition and validation of SAF model behavior, and develop a system for dynamic SAF model behavior management and recovery.

Distributed Simulation: NAWCTSD also conducts research into the use of both the Distributed Interactive Simulation (DIS) protocol and the High Level Architecture (HLA) for interconnecting remote training systems. Research includes developing gateways and bridges to translate data from one standard to the other. Other work includes interconnecting legacy systems delivered before interoperability standards were written, and researching how fast-moving aircraft simulations are affected by network latency.

Neurocognitive Assessment

NAWCTSD researchers also focus on real-time assessments of cognitive and physiological function, to better understand workload and attentional limits. Distributive training work is also underway evaluating techniques for real-time neurophysiological assessment of pilot performance state and workload. 

Immersive, Augmented Reality, Multi-Sensory Training Environment

NAWCTSD conducts human in the loop experimentations in virtual training environments to quantify levels of training effectiveness, training transfer, virtual environment (VE) usability, team performance, and simulation side effects. These efforts focus on demonstrating individual and team training capabilities using semi-automated forces (SAFs), human behavior models (HBMs), distributed briefing and debriefing, distributed performance assessment and diagnosis, intelligent tutoring systems, and networked virtual environments (NVE). Examples include development of the Helicopter Control Officer Trainer Prototype, the Aerial Refueling Part-Task Trainer, and work in Geospecific Displacement Maps for Real-Time Stereoscopic Training Simulation.

Current VE basic and applied research examines the learning effects that occur within a Navy-based virtual world environment to traditional forms of instruction to identify performance gains associated with the virtual platform. Work is also being conducted to integrate photograph-based virtual environments with existing computer-based instructional (e.g., simulations, interactive courseware) and reference (e.g., interactive electronic technical manuals) resources to enhance instructional delivery across media. Additional efforts address 3D space-time image generation motion cues induced by spatiotemporal aliasing, examining how spatiotemporal aliasing affects motion cues, identifying the key factors most influencing spatiotemporal aliasing, and developing potential solutions to limit the effects of spatiotemporal aliasing in future high fidelity display systems.

Distributed and Deployable Training Technologies

NAWCTSD develops simulation-based trainers (e.g. scenario-authoring, radar, sonar) to provide configurable training for individuals, sub-teams, and teams to meet a variety of training objectives. Work focuses on the development of performance measurement and after action review training simulation technologies for distributed and deployed teams, and includes ATSNAP trainer for submarine pilots and navigators, ATCIC combat information centers trainer for LCS, and Modular Advanced Technologies to Support Fire Team Skill Acquisition and Leadership Training.  

Future work will evaluate the use of hand-held tools for Individual and Team Performance Evaluations, involving features such as time-stamped assessments, checklists of key activities, capture of visual or auditory segments of a simulation exercise for use in after-action-reviews, and integration of multiple streams of data from several evaluators.

Scenario-Based Training

NAWCTSD efforts in scenario-based training address effective instructional strategies, scenario design, modeling of performance data, assessment and diagnosis of performance, training of teamwork skills, the use of SAFs and semi-automated agents as role players, use of intelligent agents for instructor support, and potential applications of physiological and neurophysiological measures.

Additional work focuses on improved definition of training objectives for individual-, team-, and unit-level participants.

Game-based Training: NAWCTSD researchers conduct work examining the viability of gaming applications and commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) tools, including the CryEngine3 environment, for certain well-defined training applications. Current work evaluates immersive game technologies for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education, as well as a gaming scenario for training blood-typing. Research includes investigations using avatar-based simulations and commercial flight simulators in military training environments.

Performance Measurement, Prediction, and Improvement

Research efforts in this area include development of a system to capture simulation and tactical data to provide real-time displays for exercise monitoring and dynamic and static debrief displays and for long-term archiving. Another effort is developing a self- contained deployable system to automatically quantify combined human and systems performance in real-time and for after-action-review by fusing output of normative models of behavior, human state, system state, and contextual situation state.

Additional work is being conducted on tablet-based performance evaluation and debrief support tools designed to improve the effectiveness of team observation, evaluation and feedback for both live event and scenario-based training environments.  Examples of these efforts include the USMC Immersive Infantry Trainer, and the Post Mission Assessment for Tactical Training (PMATT), a system designed to improve debriefing of training events and automatically compile trend analysis for reporting.

Human Factors Evaluations

NAWCTSD conducts evaluations of software and hardware for simulation and training systems on an ongoing basis. These efforts include interface design research addressing optimal design guidelines and information presentation modality, prioritization, and organization. One current project evaluates whether phasing schedule and planning can mitigate modality shifting effects to reduce the workload associated with multimodal interfaces. NAWCTSD also conducts work on optimal prototype and design for the Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) Common Control Station (CCS) in development by PMA-281, including development and evaluation of embedded training approaches. NAWCTSD is also developing a UAS Procedures Trainer designed to support innovative, common unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) training that adequately emulates the major components of all UAV systems operated by the Navy and naval elements of special teams.

Human Computer Interaction: HCI evaluations include examination of ideal hardware configurations for deployable virtual training systems and examination of marksmanship training systems. Examples include evaluation of the physical properties of a mid-level fidelity training system and computer platforms with different footprints for training applications.

Usability: NAWCTSD also conducts research on improvements to system usability, including the Usability Survey Enabling Research and Assessment for Intuitive Designs (USER AID), which seeks to develop an empirically validated heuristic-based tool to support usability assessment and generation of design guidance.

Human Systems Integration

NAWCTSD provides direct support of Navy surface, subsurface, and aviation programs to insure human considerations of manpower, personnel, training, human factors, habitability, survivability, and safety are included throughout the systems engineering and acquisition processes. Major focus is on maximizing human-system performance and decreasing the total ownership cost of future Navy systems. NAWCTSD also supports virtual environment submarine (VESUB) laboratory investigations and the Battle Stations 21 (BS-21) shipboard procedures trainer.

Natural Language Processing for Training Devices

NAWCTSD conducts advanced research to improve algorithms for detecting and parsing speech in high-noise environments. Explore relevant technologies in speech recognition, natural language processing and intelligent systems for possible use in training and operational applications. Efforts underway include the Semantic Mark-up Language (SML) Processor, designed to improve the function of the Multi-purpose supporting Arms Trainer (MSAT), as well as research into the effectiveness of adding rule-based chunking and dynamic programming methods to improve Natural Language Interfaces for Navy Training.

Digital Communications

NAWCTSD researchers evaluate the effectiveness of compression techniques for passing digitized speech over simulation networks. Current efforts include identifying optimal compression algorithms and improving interface with tactical equipment.

Weapons Simulation

NAWCTSD also conducts research, development, and integration of technology to support small and medium caliber weapons testing and training requirements, as well as modeling and simulation to support the development of virtual live fire test and training ranges, weapons development, and weapons simulation systems. Current projects include the Dismounter Infantryman Survivability and Lethality Testbed (DISALT II) and Scenario Planning and Effects Control System (SPECS) and After-Action Review Technology.

Unmanned Aerial Systems

Research in this area addresses communication protocols, interface design, spatial discordance, operator skill requirements and skill requirement comparisons to aviation populations including aviators and air traffic controllers, and personnel selection requirements. Additional efforts focus on cross-platform solutions in training and interface design that will accommodate the requirements of common UAS platforms.  Work is underway to support the PMA-281 requirement for a common UAS control station, including establishment of effective prototype and design models, as well as embedded training approaches.