Home' Defence Magazine : Defence Magazine Issue 2, 2108 Contents 27
Issue 2 2018 Defence
The DST Research Leader
in Human Systems, Dr
Nick Beagley, has engaged
the expertise of seven
universities to help
bring out the best in our
Revolutionising the relationship between
humans and machines
THE use of autonomous systems in combat can
greatly reduce the risk to personnel, however mission
effectiveness can be compromised by separating the
soldier from the field.
Professor Hussein Abbass, of the University of
New South Wales (UNSW), says teleoperation, espe-
cially in a war-fighting context, comes with its own
“While it removes soldiers from danger, mission
effectiveness can be limited if there is not a clear
understanding of how the operators’ cognitive perfor-
mance may be compromised by various factors such
as fatigue, having to multi-task, even having to switch
from a civilian to a war-fighting setting,” Hussein
His team is looking to design methods and metrics
to improve the mission effectiveness and ‘trustworthi-
ness’ of integrated human-machine teams.
Building stronger teams
IN THE military, teamwork is essential – soldiers’
lives are quite literally in the hands of their team-
mates. High-performing teams who can withstand the
pressures of battle are therefore paramount.
There is a rich source of literature on individual
resilience, yet the notion that teams may have the col-
lective capacity to withstand or recover from adverse
events or stressors that threaten their performance has
received less attention.
Curtin University researchers are addressing this
gap in knowledge; conducting extensive research
into the factors that influence team resilience and
effectiveness among a range of team types, including
newly formed, trained and specialised teams.
Drawing on expertise in psychology, physiology
and organisational behaviour, the Curtin team will
develop strategies which Army can use to foster and
sustain resilient teams.
Improving performance in complex
THERE are few work environments more complex
than the military battlefield and even fewer where the
cost of poor performance is so high.
Using the latest developments in neuroscience
and mental training, as well as state-of-the-art virtual
and augmented reality technologies, the University of
South Australia is developing a cognitive screening
and training environment to optimise the selection
and preparation of troops for operating in these com-
plex, high-risk environments.
Increasing battlefield awareness
A LOSS of situational awareness can have serious
consequences on the performance and survivability of
troops on the battlefield.
The University of Western Australia (UWA) is
undertaking extensive research to enhance warfight-
ers’ situational awareness.
“Situation awareness is vital on the battlefield”,
says the project lead, Associate Professor Troy Visser,
of the UWA School of Psychological Science.
“Our goal is to understand the cognitive skills that
lead to greater situation awareness and then develop
tools to enhance those skills.”
In the first instance, the team will develop a “cog-
nitive profiling tool” that can assesses individual
differences in the key cognitive skills that underpin
They then intend to develop tools and techniques
to augment those cognitive skills through the use of
tailored technology solutions and customised training.
AS A research network, HPRnet is designed to draw
on the research and expertise of human performance
experts from around the country, but for it to achieve
success, it needs to deliver more than cutting-edge
research. It needs to deliver results.
As Brigadier Mills explained, “Army is a practical
organisation which likes to see tangible results for
any money it spends.
“So, while we like a good research paper as
much as anyone, what we like better and what we
are expecting, are results that lead to actual physical
improvements in what we do.
“If in years to come I can see soldiers performing
better, physically, cognitively, morally and ethical-
ly, if I can see tools being used in our training that
are leading to individuals performing better, with
better performing teams and an overall better Army,
I will feel that Army has achieved the result we
wanted from our funding of the Human Performance
Links Archive Defence Magazine Issue 1 2018 Navigation Previous Page Next Page