40 BOEING FRONTIERS / MAY 2013 experts from universities around the world. “It’s gratifying to be on the forefront of an ambitious scientific study like this one,” said Kimberly Craig, Commercial Airplanes project manager. “Crew fatigue is one of the hot-button regulatory issues in commercial aviation,” Craig added. “We’re bringing a lot of new data to the discussion. We hope this data will guide Boeing’s technology investments for the future and may influence how we equip our airplanes.” Pilots in the study will be fitted with a variety of sensors that monitor biometric factors such as brain waves and heart rates, as well as those that monitor eye movement and body posture. Crews then fly simulated flights both rested and fatigued. The rested sessions are daytime flights after sufficient rest; the fatigued sessions are overnight flights after a period of extended wakefulness. The simulator sessions consist of one 6.5-hour flight or four consecutive, short flights in a 777. Pilots will be constantly evaluated to determine the impact of fatigue on the different workloads. In total, Boeing should collect more than 1,000 pilot hours of audio, video and simulator data. “Through this research, we can better learn how pilot performance is affected by flights across time zones that disrupt circadian rhythms,” explained Boeing Tech-nical Pilot Brian Behrend. “The knowledge gained may help develop ways to mitigate or recognize fatigue in real time.” While studies on fatigue have been performed in other industries, the aviation environment presents unique challenges. Boeing and subsidiary Jeppesen have been working closely to develop technolo-gies to manage flight-crew alertness and performance. This became even more critical to airlines when the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration last year issued a new rule regarding crew duty limitations and rest requirements. One of those technologies, the CrewAlert app available on iTunes, is a product of the Boeing and Jeppesen collaboration. Results of the Seattle study should help Boeing and Jeppesen determine whether a technology or a suite of technologies can unobtrusively detect fatigue and find links between crew performance and fatigue. In addition to helping ensure aviation safety, the study may prove helpful to others as well. “What we find out here may extend beyond aviation into other transportation industries, even the medical industry,” said Harry Westcott, another Boeing technical pilot. “The video and data archive could be mined for information for decades.” n firstname.lastname@example.org To see a related video, visit www.boeing. com/frontiers/videos/may “What we find out here may extend beyond aviation into other ... industries, even the medical industry.” – Harry Westcott, Boeing technical pilot PHOTOS: (Above) Boeing test engineer Rob Grube, left, wires up Boeing pilot Brian Behrend with body monitoring devices for a simulator session. (Below) Boeing engineers Chris Gast, from left, Kim Craig and Grube monitor the pilots’ brain waves and other physical reactions during the simulated long flight.
Frontiers May 2013 Issue
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