Is simulator training as effective as live training, for a warfighter sitting at the controls of an aircraft at supersonic speed, 30,000 feet above the ground?
It’s a perennial question as simulator training continues to evolve. How do you know that the warfighter in a simulated training environment is getting the true experience and workload of doing the same tasks in a live scenario?
As we know, flying an aircraft is a physically and mentally demanding undertaking. The same is true when maneuvering a Humvee around potential land mines in enemy territory. In a synthetic training environment, our warfighters need to perceive those same rigors so that they’re prepared for whatever they might face. Training providers have been challenged to accurately measure the effectiveness of performance-based training solutions. With the increase in new innovative technologies designed to reduce cost and training time, customers want to ensure training needs are still being met.
This is where the ability to benchmark the cognitive workload of missions, operations and maintenance is necessary to help the warfighter. This objective performance assessment is a combination of task performance and physiological metrics and is agnostic across domains and platforms. Recent research by Collins Aerospace in partnership with University of Iowa’s Operator Performance Laboratory, has proven—over a multi-year study—the effectiveness of training using an object performance assessment methodology. The research was conducted on pilots performing flight maneuvers in a simulated-based training environment and over 50 hours in live flight. By using physiological metrics in combination with task specific performance metrics, the research used real-time electrocardiogram data from the pilot to measure just how engaged he or she is during specific aerial maneuvers whether he or she is in a simulator or in the cockpit.
The results of the study showed that the methodology successfully measures training effectiveness. Additionally, the benefits of this methodology include applications of adaptive learning, automated learning progression, safety assurance, and much more.
To learn more about the Objective Performance Assessment solution, watch the video below: