NINA offers advanced stress, fatigue tools

NINA-EEG-recording-session-01-2015-1-870x490Italy’s University La Sapienza, the French National School for Civil Aviation (ENAC) and Deep Blue have developed a system to measure stress in air traffic controllers, as part of the Neurometrics Indicators for ATM (NINA) project, reports the ANSA news agency.

NINA is a 27 month project co-funded in the SESAR WPE framework that launched in September 2013 and brings together three highly qualified partners with complementary competencies coming from academia, research institution and SME.

Now completed, NINA aimed to monitor the cognitive state of ATM operators and identify appropriate actions to support their activity, using sensors and a combination of neurometrics, measuring the brain’s electrical activity and other neurophysiologic measures.

These include eye movements, blink frequency and duration recorded in the form of electrooculogram (EOG), electrocardiographic data (EKG) and Galvanic Skin Response (GSR) readings collected through a non-invasive bonnet equipped with sensors, that in an industrial version of the device could be substituted with a cap connected through a wi-fi link.

The system takes neurological feedback from air traffic controllers and analyses it in real time to determine stress levels and fatigue, allowing managers to determine if workloads are too high and to intervene.

“It is a very complex electroencephalogram, which identifies areas of the brain involved throughout the work,” said Simone Bonelli and Stefano Pozzi at Deep Blue: “This validation phase of the sensors means it tsill has the appearance of a cap, but in the future they will have different shapes and reduced dimensions. In future, controllers could use NINA through, possibly, strips for support in front of them, or small devices that could be put on a collar.”

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