RAPID: Realistic Assessment of Performance in Devices

Period of Performance: 12/29/2011 - 09/28/2012


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Aptima, Inc.
12 Gill Street Array
Woburn, MA 01801
Principal Investigator


ABSTRACT: As the Air Force responds to high demands for Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) operations, devices and strategies for effectively training Pilots and Sensor Operators are likely to increase in importance. While simulation-based training is available, little is known regarding the training effectiveness trade-offs of devices, environments, and/or methods. Current tools and processes for evaluating effectiveness lack the flexibility and automation required for providing quick, clear, and useful training guidance in light of technological improvements and changes to key missions. Thus, a Realistic Assessment of Performance in Devices (RAPID) Tool, an automated, data-driven, model-based decision support tool that is continually refined and validated, is required to provide training developers and acquisitions professionals clear recommendations on how to effectively train RPA operators. The RAPID Tool will leverage, enhance, and integrate proven technologies to accelerate automation of processes and models to produce a single source that will comprehensively analyze the effectiveness of existing and future RPA training solutions (e.g., devices, environments, and methods). When fully implemented, the RAPID Tool s data-driven, automated, and continually refined models will support environment/device trade-off analyses, recommend blending learning strategies, and enable rapid assessment and characterization of training devices and tools in relation to desired training outcomes. BENEFIT: The results of our Phase I and II activities will be the RAPID Tool, an automated and adaptable tool that facilitates rapid, data driven analyses of the effectiveness of training environments and devices in relation to RPA training objectives. Specifically, the RAPID Tool will facilitate and house the automatic processing of objective performance data to continually refine and validate its underlying model of the relationships of relevant training environment characteristics and devices to training objectives. In support of training developers, the RAPID Tool will provide recommended training strategies for achieving desired outcomes effectively and efficiently leveraging a variety of training environments, tools, and devices as applicable. To acquisition professionals, the RAPID Tool will provide a data driven analysis of the training effectiveness trade-offs of current and future devices, including consideration of non-traditional fidelity variables that are important in RPA training environments. While we will develop a tool customized to meet the needs and challenges of Air Force RPA operations, our approach is designed to be generalizable and applicable to other DoD agencies and commercial organizations who share some common challenges with the Air Force: (1) high demand for achieving training objectives in environments besides live missions (e.g. high consequences for errors); (2) uncertainty regarding which training devices, environments, and methods effectively train which training objectives; and (3) limited resources to achieve operational training objectives.