Feeds

NASA developing brain-monitor hats for airline pilots

'YOU ARE OVERSTRESSED! YOU ARE OVERSTRESSED!'

Seven Steps to Software Security

US aerospace agency NASA has announced that it is developing a brain-monitoring hat for airline pilots to wear. The idea is that the bonce-clocking headset will know when pilots become "mentally overloaded" and help them to "realise" this.

The brain-titfers are being developed at NASA's Glenn Research Center using "functional near infrared spectroscopy" (fNIRS, apparently) and "other imaging technology". The spectroscope hats work by measuring blood flow in the cortex and the concentration of oxygen in the blood. NASA describes them as "non-invasive, safe, portable and inexpensive". The kit is being tried out on guinea-pig pilots in simulators at Glenn.

"No matter how much training pilots have, conditions could occur when too much is going on in the cockpit," said NASA biomedical engineer Angela Harrivel.

"What we hope to achieve by this study is a way to sensitively - and, ultimately, unobtrusively - determine when pilots become mentally overloaded ... Flying an aircraft involves multitasking that potentially can push the limits of human performance," she adds.

There's no word on just how the mindprobe hats would actually help a maxed-out pilot to cope. Presumably triggering flashing lights and a loud recorded voice repeatedly shouting "YOU ARE MENTALLY OVERLOADED! CALM DOWN!" wouldn't actually be of much assistance.

Perhaps some kind of mechanical arm able to slap a panicking flyboy round the chops or throw water in his face might be in order. NASA are obviously still working on this bit.

There's more from NASA on the Integrated Intelligent Flight Deck project - which oversees the brain-hat tech - here

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol
Study finds common pain-killer doesn't reduce pain or shorten recovery
Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 claimed lives of HIV/AIDS cure scientists
Researchers, advocates, health workers among those on shot-down plane
World Solar Challenge contender claims new speed record
One charge sees Sunswift travel 500kms at over 100 km/h
SMELL YOU LATER, LOSERS – Dumbo tells rats, dogs... humans
Junk in the trunk? That's what people have
All those new '5G standards'? Here's the science they rely on
Radio professor tells us how wireless will get faster in the real world
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.