Air Force Research Lab Focusing on Human Performance Technologies

Air Force Research Lab Focusing on Human Performance Technologies image
November 21, 2016 | Source: National Defense Magazine, Vivienne Machi

The often overlooked field of human performance monitoring is one of several cutting-edge technologies the Air Force Research Laboratory is focusing on — along with autonomous systems, hypersonics, electronic warfare and more — as part of the department-wide third offset strategy, the lab's commander said Oct. 19.

"Somebody asked me at a panel … what do we not talk about, and I actually think it's human performance," Maj. Gen. Robert McMurry Jr. said at an National Defense Industrial Association executive breakfast in Washington, D.C.

Measurements, tests and evaluations are conducted "on every system we have, except the person," he said.

"We are now creating sensors that can, through basically sweat analysis and pulse tracking, look at whether somebody's really at the top of their game. And if they're not, start to figure out how to help them get there," he said.

AFRL's human performance wing at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio in 2015 conducted the first successful human trials of a usable sweat sensor prototype, according to the Air Force. The team collaborated with researchers from the University of Cincinnati to develop the sensor.