Probabilistic modeling
Charles River Analytics
Cambridge, MA

NASA has contracted with Charles River Analytics to develop a system to measure and assess astronaut workload. The system for Cognitive Assessment and Prediction to Promote Individualized Capability Augmentation and Reduce Decrement, or CAPT PICARD, will measure, assess, and predict cognitive workload to assist astronauts or mission control in responding more effectively. Astronauts sent on manned NASA missions face long periods of minimal cognitive workload followed by sudden, fast-tempo operations. In addition, disrupted sleep, long-term motion exposure, and lack of normal gravity may impair cognitive and psychomotor functioning, resulting in fatigue, stress, and decreased mood.

The system will allow NASA to warn astronauts or mission control when steps should be taken to augment cognitive readiness. CAPT PICARD also can be used to assist engineers in evaluating the cognitive and physical demands of new tools during their initial design, and to determine the effects these tools will have on task performance and accuracy. Charles River’s proprietary probabilistic modeling and deep learning techniques will sift through data from a suite of neurophysiological, physiological, and behavioral sensors, and interpret that data into indications of human state, such as cognitive workload, to help predict upcoming performance decrements before they occur.

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