Cognitive Demands for Sustainment of Large Weapons Systems

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: N/A
Agency Tracking Number: 36395
Amount: $99,601.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 1997
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
582 E Dayton-Yellow Springs Rd, Fairborn, OH, 45324
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Gary Klein
 (937) 873-8166
Business Contact
Phone: () -
Research Institution
We will apply powerful techniques of Cognitive Task Analysis to idenfity and represent the strategies and mental models of skilled maintenance technicians. Routine maintenance can be decomposed into steps and procedures, using methods of linear analysis. In contrast, sustainment attempts to minimize disassembly, using judgments and diagnoses and problem solving--it is a creative activity that cannot be captured by formal procedures or linear analyses. These are exactly the skills that Cognitive Task Analysis (CTA) methods have been designed to handle. The output of CTA is the specification of decision requirements: the critical decisions, the reasons why they are difficult, the types of errors that are made, and the patterns and strategies used by the most skillful technicians. We will apply CTA methods during in-depth interviews with ten skilled maintenance technicians. The resulting decision requirements tables will be used to specify the system software architecture for effectively supporting sustainment in the field.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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