DSoft Technology is a prime contractor for the FAA's Research Development Human Factors Lab (RDHFL) at the William J. Hughes Technical Center in New Jersey. One of our principal research scientists is Mr. Thomas O'Brien, co-author of the first Handbook of Human Factors Testing and Evaluation1. Mr. O'Brien's text is used worldwide as the authoritative text on ensuring that systems and products will be effective and usable before they are placed into the hands of people.

The RDHFL provides a civil aviation human factors research program for human-system applications in acquisition, certification, regulation, and standards. We provide scientific and technical research and measurement support for all of these activities. Additionally, we assist with the design and development of human-system technologies, interfaces, tools, aids, equipment, and processes that support air traffic control and aviation.

Employing cognitive and human factors research scientists, we research, develop, and ensure implementation of well-tested human factors policies, regulations, programs, and procedures which promote the safety and productivity of the national airspace system. Our program also formulates and manages the aviation human factors research program and provides human factors support to FAA acquisition and regulatory activities. Our researchers have made contributions to a broad selection of topics in aviation, such as:

  • Unmanned aircraft systems
  • Synthetic vision systems
  • Air traffic control displays and symbology
  • Air traffic procedures
  • Cockpit weather displays
  • Traffic flow management
  • Human factors design standards.

The research tasks we conduct include:

  • Meta-analysis
  • Questionnaire and survey development
  • Technical interchange meetings (TIM)
  • Cognitive walk-throughs
  • Report preparation (Quick Look and Final)
  • High fidelity Human-in-The-Loop (HITL) modeling and simulation
  • Power analysis and preregistration
  • Modeling metrics development
  • Statistical modeling
  • Bayesian statistics
  • Software development and testing
  • Software debugging
  • User experience testing
  • Experimental design
  • Off-Nominal Scenario Analysis
  • HFE test plans and procedures
  • Operator procedure documentation
  • Human performance metrics.

When conducting simulations and experiments, we are experienced in recording and analyzing data from several key behavioral and physiological modalities:

  • Operator workload
  • Flight paths
  • Time and distance
  • Response time
  • Questionnaires and surveys
  • Eye movements
  • Functional near-infrared (FNIR) spectroscopy
  • Heart rate variability
  • Electro encephalography (EEG).

1 Handbook of Human Factors Research 2nd Edition, Samuel G. Charlton, PhD, and Thomas G. O'Brien, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers, 2003.