Charles River Analytics Inc., a developer of intelligent systems solutions, has announced a contract awarded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to measure and assess astronaut workload. The system for Cognitive Assessment and Prediction to Promote Individualized Capability Augmentation and Reduce Decrement, or CAPT PICARD, will measure, assess, and predict cognitive workload to assist astronauts or mission control in responding more effectively.
Astronauts sent on manned NASA missions face long periods of minimal cognitive workload followed by sudden, high tempo operations. In addition, disrupted sleep, long-term motion exposure, and lack of normal gravity, may impair cognitive and psychomotor functioning, resulting in fatigue, stress, and decreased mood.
“In CAPT PICARD, we are building an unobtrusive system to measure, assess, and predict astronaut cognitive workload,” said Dr. Bethany Bracken, a scientist at Charles River Analytics, and Principal Investigator on CAPT PICARD. “This will allow us to warn astronauts or mission control when steps should be taken to augment cognitive readiness. We can also use CAPT PICARD to assist engineers in evaluating the cognitive and physical demands of new tools during their initial design, and to determine the effects these tools will have on task performance and accuracy. We will use Charles River’s proprietary probabilistic modeling and deep learning techniques to sift through data from a suite of neurophysiological, physiological, and behavioral sensors, and interpret that data into indications of human state, such as cognitive workload, to help predict upcoming performance decrements before they occur.”
Charles River will build upon recent NASA efforts in the CAPT PICARD system. In 2014, it was awarded a contract to improve aviation safely using probabilistic programming in NASA’s Programming Useful Life Prediction effort. Charles River also received a contract for a satellite image processing system to detect large-scale environmental events.
About Charles River Analytics
Since 1983, Charles River Analytics (cra.com) has been delivering intelligent systems that transform our customers' data into mission-relevant tools and solutions to support critical assessment and decision-making. Charles River continues to grow its technology, customer base, and strategic alliances through research and development programs for the DoD and the Intelligence Community, addressing a broad spectrum of mission areas and functional domains, including: sensor and image processing, situation assessment and decision aiding, human systems integration, and cyber analytics. These efforts have resulted in a series of successful products that support continued growth in our core R&D contracting business, as well as the commercial sector. Charles River became an employee-owned company in 2012, to set the stage for the next-generation of innovation, service, and growth.