Mechanisms for Improving Fidelity and Efficacy of Centrifuge Training

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Navy
Contract: N68335-08-C-0141
Agency Tracking Number: N081-012-0224
Amount: $149,983.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2008
Solicitation Year: 2008
Solicitation Topic Code: N08-012
Solicitation Number: 2008.1
Small Business Information
303 Bear Hill Road, Waltham, MA, 02451
DUNS: 004627316
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Anna Galea
 Director of Technology Development
 (781) 890-1338
Business Contact
 William Thompson
Title: Contracts Manager
Phone: (781) 890-1338
Research Institution
Improving the ability of ground-based simulators as a training mechanism for flight will enable faster and potentially more solid training of flight crew. With an eye to the requirements of the newest aircraft, which provide flight sensations and maneuvers previously impossible, we propose to improve centrifuge training. Specifically, we will tackle the issues of aberrant vestibular signals and of G-LOC training. Aberrant vestibular signals are caused whenever a subject moves their head in a direction other than that of the spinning centrifuge. We have developed a vestibular stimulation protocol that utilizes small amounts of current applied via skin electrodes that can simulate motion in stationary individuals. We will establish the use of this protocol to cancel the unwanted effects of a centrifuge trainer on the vestibular system. Gravity-Induced Loss of Consciousness (G-LOC) is a serious problem affecting even experienced pilots. While a well-performed anti-G straining maneuver (AGSM) can provide more protection than even a G-suit, there is no formal training metric. We will use our aeromedical and biomedical expertise to develop an unobtrusive sensor that can provide real-time feedback to the trainee as to the efficacy of their AGSM.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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