The RSA Studio PCA develops with Lufthansa Aviation Training an assistance system for pilot training.

The safety of aircraft depends largely on the focused attention of pilots. With the latest eye-tracking systems, a significant improvement of pilot training through competence-oriented individualization is aimed at.

Together with the project partners Lufthansa Aviation Training, Austro Control and Economica, the Research Studios Austria Forschungsgesellschaft (RSA FG) is launching the three-year research project “Airtention”, which has been competitively selected and is being funded by the BMVIT as part of the “TakeOff 2018” initiative.

The RSA FG-Research Studio Pervasive Computing Applications uses its special expertise in the development of so-called “Attention Aware Systems”. These systems are not only able to measure the attention of people, but also to analyze it holistically. RSA FG Attention Aware Systems are already in use at end customers like a ski manufacturer or the national mountain bike team.

Simple eye tracking has already proven its worth in pilot training. What is new, however, is the approach pushed by the RSA FG, which combines the recording of gaze behavior – i.e. saccades (gaze jumps) and fixations and their statistical analysis – with other sensor analyses: for example, interactions with instruments, cognitive load measured by pupil size, or hand-eye coordination data. A solution that can also be used in training for other professions with similar requirements as pilots.

“These evaluations should help to better understand the competencies of individual trainees,” says Benedikt Gollan, head of the research project and operational head of the Research Studio Pervasive Computing Applications: “The aim is to provide each trainee with the best possible individual support and to adapt the training programme with the aim of moving away from flying hours as a measure of competence and towards actually objective measurements.”

A deeper understanding of the processes of attention can only please passengers: The passenger plane is the safest means of transport in the world, but 80 percent of all fatal accidents are still due to human error.

Report in ORF Radio Salzburg from 20.08.2019 – Transcript:

“Salzburg researchers are now launching a new programme to improve pilot training internationally. The aim is to reduce the risk of accidents caused by human error. The interaction of the eyes of pilots with their activities in the cockpit will be closely examined.”

The own eyes are still the most important instrument of pilots. Despite the ever increasing automation and more and more computers in the cockpit. Using new systems, Salzburg researchers from Research Studios Austria are now trying to examine the eye and hand movements of men and women in cockpits in detail. In the process, not only the attention of flight students and fully trained pilots is measured.  The so-called “Attention Aware Systems” are also intended to identify possible sources of error during flight – the causes of human error.

The Salzburg researchers point out that air traffic is by far the safest means of transport worldwide. However, when it comes to the rare accidents, human error is the main cause for 80 percent of them. This proportion is now to be reduced by the new research. The project partners are Lufthansa with its pilot training and Austro Control, Austria’s national air safety authority.

RSA FG entwickelt sensorbasiertes Assistenzsystem für Ausbildung von Piloten gemeinsam mit Lufthansa Training

APA, 20.08.2019

Pilot gilt nach wie vor als absoluter Traumberuf. Bevor die Karriere über den Wolken in Gang kommt, wartet eine komplexe Ausbildung voller Prüfungen […]  sowie neben diversen psychologischen Tests auch die Überprüfung der Teamfähigkeit und der Fähigkeit zur Mehrfachbelastung.

BMVIT, 21.08.2019

Salzburg, August 2019 – Die Research Studios Austria Forschungsgesellschaft (RSA FG) startet mit den Projektpartnern Lufthansa Aviation Training, Austro Control und Economica das dreijähriges Forschungsprojekt “Airtention”, das vom BMVIT im Rahmen der Initiative “TakeOff 2018” kompetitiv ausgewählt wurde und gefördert wird.

check.point.elearning, August 2019

Lufthansa Training und RSA FG entwickeln sensorbasiertes Assistenzsystem., 20.08.2019