Original Date: 05/08/1995
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : Crew System Design Analysis Tools
McDonnell Douglas Aerospace (MDA)-St. Louis has assembled a toolbox with both internally-developed and third party software for evaluating and improving flight crew control and escape systems. These tools use computer models to simulate, predict, and analyze the physical environment that the flight crew will see during mission scenarios. This includes parameters such as reach distances for controls, vision capabilities, crew workload, heat in the cockpit, and ejection thrust. In addition to software tools, MDA-St. Louis utilizes many hardware tools to collect data such as lighting, sound, torque, and force exertions for input to the analysis tools. Crew station concepts and improvement ideas can be evaluated using a rapidly reconfigurable cockpit.
MDA-St. Louis software tools accomplish the following tasks:
Rapid prototyping for cockpit displays with built-in flight simulation Human factors analysis of human body fit and function
Analysis of the visual impact of components in a pilot’s visual path
Modeling and analysis of human-machine integration requirements
Simulation and analysis of the thermal behavior of the human bod,
Assessment of the performance of the ejection system
Simulation of combat maneuver G forces and resultant human responses
MDA-St. Louis hardware tools measure luminance levels and chromaticity; perform spectral analysis; measure and define force requirements; measure sound levels, visual contrast sensitivity, and human body dimensions; facilitate design tool use in a lighting room, acoustic chamber or experiment room; provide a mock-up crew station for rapid testing and evaluation; and provide mock-up lighting for experiments.
These tools are continuously evaluated for upgrade or replacement when improved capabilities are needed, with an annual budget allocated to procure high priority upgrades. Recently, a survey was conducted to investigate upgrade requirements in an effort to ensure that employees have the tools they need to effectively do their jobs.
For more information see the
Point of Contact for this survey.