Third Annual Human Systems Integration (HSI) Summit A Smashing Success!
Vol.6 Issue 5
2020 Human Systems Integration Summit

When COVID-19 threatened to shut down the Third Annual Human Systems Integration (HSI) Summit at Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center (MMAC) in Oklahoma City, humans adapted and overcame adversity. By reformatting the HSI Summit to an online, Virtual Summit, organizers avoided a cancelation and then delivered a very informative series of presentations. Attended virtually by over 175 members from MMAC, the FAA William J. Hughes Technical Center, and various other Federal, State, and civilian organizations, the HSI Summit brought some of the brightest leaders and thinkers from multiple disciplines together. Within the theme of "Technically Enhanced Human Operations," topics such as Augmented Reality, Human Performance Enhancement Through Medical Technologies, and Knowledge and Social Graph Combinations gave attendees a glimpse into the future of the integration of humans and systems.

Michelle Coppedge, Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center Director welcomed attendees from all across the nation to the Virtual 3rd Annual Human Systems Integration (HSI) Summit.
Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center Deputy Director Kevin O’Connor helped kick off the HSI Summit, promising attendees a "robust learning experience."
Tony Darnell, Chairman of the Aeronautical Center’s NextGen Integration Committee (ACNIC) and Manager of the FAA Academy’s Terminal Automation Section (AMA-421), hosted the 3rd Annual HSI Summit.

Aeronautical Center Director Michelle Coppedge and Deputy Director Kevin O’Connor welcomed an audience that had more than doubled in size from the previous year’s HSI Summit. Director Coppedge thanked the Aeronautical Center’s NextGen Integration Committee for "putting together a fabulous program." She noted the committee’s adaptability to quickly and flawlessly change the Summit from a physical gathering to a virtual format via Zoom Webinar. Deputy Director O’Connor noted, "We are living in a transformational time, with constantly-changing technical advances that enhance our operational effectiveness. This is a great time to work together, leveraging our partnerships to create a stronger pipeline for a more technology-proficient workforce." Tony Darnell, Chairman of the Aeronautical Center’s NextGen Integration Committee (ACNIC) and Manager of Terminal Automation Section (AMA-421) hosted the HSI Summit and served as moderator.

Dr. Melchor J. Antuñano, Director of the Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI), describes how technology is being used to enhance human performance and capabilities.

The Summit’s agenda brought an amazing collection of talent, expertise, and knowledge. The Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center’s own Dr. Melchor J. Antuñano, Director of the Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI), presented a fascinating overview of modern advances in "Human Performance Enhancements Through Medical Technologies." Dr. Antuñano discussed a wide range of smart devices that interact with the human body to provide monitoring and data collection. He described technologies such as smart contact lenses which measure internal eye pressure, embedded skin patches that are capable of monitoring glucose levels, and even smart clothing used for monitoring vital signs. He pointed out that all of these technologies have applications in aviation to help monitor pilot and even air traffic controller health. Additionally, Dr. Antuñano discussed advances in neurotechnology, genomics, and robotics and how these scientific fields create opportunities in the world of aviation.

Larry Miller, Research Pilot in the Flight Research and Analysis Group, discussed "Crew Workload Consideration in Using HUD Localizer Takeoff Guidance in Lieu of Currently Required Infrastructure."
Dr. Nicoletta Fala, Assistant Professor at Oklahoma State University in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, spoke of the need to better understand the humans who are using technology so that technology can be better adapted for those humans.

The HSI Summit’s morning session speakers also included Larry Miller, Research Pilot in the Flight Research and Analysis Group, Flight Technologies and Procedures Division of the Flight Standards Service. Mr. Miller spoke on "Crew Workload Consideration in using Heads-Up Display (HUD) Localizer Takeoff Guidance in Lieu of Currently Required Infrastructure." He maintains that current takeoff guidance technologies are not as effective as guidance projected through HUD systems.

Dr. Nicoletta Fala, Assistant Professor at Oklahoma State University in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Program, addressed the topic of "Putting the Human in Human Systems Integration." Dr. Fala stated the goal of Human Systems Integration in aviation is to "increase the number of take-offs… and to increase the number of landings!" She purports that a better understanding of the humans who operate aviation technologies will help us to better understand how to adapt those technologies to humans. By using a proactive research method, she maintains that we can increase operational efficiency and safety.

Dave King, founder of Exaptive, presented data-augmented collaboration possibilities.
Dave King demonstrates how unrelated data can be layered and correlated to help discover previously unknown connections and categorizations, leading to better understanding of data and collaboration.

The afternoon session of the HSI Summit was equally engaging and informative. Dave King, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) graduate and founder of Exaptive, a modular and cross-disciplinary data analysis company, gave a fascinating talk on "Software-Facilitated Innovation: Combining Knowledge Graphs with Social Graphs to Bridge Silos More Easily and Get to ’Ah-Ha’ Moments More Quickly." Dave demonstrated how unrelated data can be used to augment the human experience. This unrelated data is analyzed and correlated to reveal previously unknown and undiscovered connections within data sets, thereby connecting people in new ways. He showed how this data analysis can break down "silos" of knowledge and connect groups of people with their associated skills and knowledge-bases that were previously unconnected. According to Dave, "Your skillset can translate in ways you might never have imagined. All that is needed are tools to make those connections."

Dr. Ziho Kang discusses how eye-tracking software can improve air traffic control operations.
Dr. Kang presented an example of eye-tracking location measurements.

HSI Summit attendees also heard from Dr. Ziho Kang, Assistant Professor at the University of Oklahoma and collaborator with the FAA, as he presented his study: "Multi-Modal Analysis of Eye Movements and Brain Activities: Towards Maximizing Human Performance in VR Training." Dr. Kang showed how eye movements and associated brain activity can be tracked in an air traffic control environment to aid in the assessment of these activities and improve their efficiency.

Dr. Kylie Key maintains that augmented reality systems can revolutionize human interactions with mechanical systems.

Lastly, Dr. Kylie Key, Engineering Research Psychologist with the Flight Deck Human Factors Research Laboratory (AAM-510) of the FAA’s Aerospace Human Factors Research Division, spoke on "Augmented Reality: A Human Performance Solution?" Dr. Key presented compelling evidence of the benefits that augmented reality provides. She zeroed in on an example where digital overlays were created on top of physical aircraft landing systems to aid in maintenance and repairs. The augmented reality profiles how the parts and pieces of the landing gear system fit together and indicates specific points in need of servicing. Based on this presentation, Dr. Key suggested that service manuals and hard-copy reference materials were less needed and less accurate, since real-time information could be projected upon the actual parts being serviced. Following Dr. Key’s presentation, host and emcee Tony Darnell brought the 3rd Annual 2020 Human Systems Integration Summit to a close.

None of the 2020 HSI Summit would have been possible without an army of willing people to brilliantly plan and execute the Summit. An amazing team of individuals worked together behind the scenes to put the Summit together. FAA contractors from the Cherokee Nation 3-S Team, including Joey Jaworski, Suzanne Thomas, and Hailey Grippen, planned and oversaw transitions between speakers and their presentations. They monitored questions from the audience and ensured a seamless and flawless Summit. Additionally, on-screen American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters ensured extended accessibility to the presentations. The Quality Systems & Business Resources Staff (AMC-3) also provided planning support and creation of graphics and branding for the event.

The theme for the 2020 HSI Summit was, "Technically Enhanced Human Operations." This theme was clearly demonstrated by the technologies that assisted in the presentation of the Summit. Without the aid of virtual meeting platforms, this Summit would have never occurred. However, aided by technology, people who were geographically separated were brought together to learn about the many technologies, sciences, and systems that maximize human potential. This trans-national collaboration of engineers, scientists, and aviation industry leaders presented an opportunity for technology and idea sharing.

Summit host and Aeronautical Center’s NextGen Integration Committee (ACNIC) Chairman Tony Darnell added some final thoughts: "I am impressed with the way people came together, especially at the last minute, to save the Summit from cancellation this year. It is encouraging to know that people find value in this venue, and genuinely want to see it grow. Everyone gained some valuable experience this year."

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