Cognitive Assessment and Prediction to Promote Individualized Capability Augmentation and Reduce Decrement (CAPT PICARD)

Period of Performance: 06/06/2016 - 06/05/2018


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Charles River Analytics, Inc.
625 Mount Auburn Street Array
Cambridge, MA 02138
Firm POC
Principal Investigator


NASA missions include long periods of low workload followed by sudden high-tempo operations, a pattern that can be detrimental to situational awareness and operational readiness. An unobtrusive system to measure, assess, and predict Astronaut cognitive workload can indicate when steps should be taken to augment cognitive readiness. This system can also support testing and engineering (T&E); engineers can accurately evaluate the cognitive demands of new tools and systems, as well as how they affect task performance. In our Phase I effort, Charles River Analytics designed and demonstrated a system for Cognitive Assessment and Prediction to Promote Individualized Capability Augmentation and Reduce Decrement (CAPT PICARD). CAPT PICARD: (1) robustly and unobtrusively performs real-time synchronous data collection with a suite of sensors to provide a holistic assessment of the Astronaut; (2) extracts, fuses, and interprets the best combination of indicators of Astronaut state; (3) comprehensively predicts performance deficits, optimizing the likelihood of mission success; and (4) displays the data to support the information requirements of any user. The solicitation defined the following Phase I goals: review physiological, neurophysiological, and cognitive assessments in extreme environments and long duration missions; design an algorithm to assess workload. We did focus on these goals; however, we went beyond them to also demonstrate a functional prototype by the end of Phase I. Based on the success of this Phase I effort, we recommend a Phase II effort to refine and develop each component of CAPT PICARD, and iteratively evaluate this system in an undergraduate lab, at a T&E lab at Johnson Space Center (JSC), and in a mission-like analog environment at JSC. Successful completion of these tasks will result in a tool that can both dramatically improve Astronaut mission readiness and the design and development of tools Astronauts use to carry out mission objectives.