Military system design requirements

Human Factors Psychologists play a major role in writing design requirements during the product design life cycle. Here I’d like to present just a few examples of favorite projects in which I assisted in the development of those requirements.

HSI guidance for the US Navy

Process: Assisted project leads by contributing sections to requirements documents for the following systems:

  • Unmanned surface vessels (USVs)
  • Proprietary high speed boat navigation interface
  • Combatant craft integrated craft and combat management  

Human Systems Integration (HSI) is an interdisciplinary technical and management process for integrating human considerations within and across all military system elements.  It is an effort to make the warfighter a top priority in systems design.  HSI is a process to ensure systems are designed and developed to affordably integrate with human capabilities and limitations while enhancing combat capability.  HSI is an essential component of Navy acquisition and modernization (U.S. Navy (2005, May 20). For the U.S. Navy, HSI includes five domains:

  1. Human Factors Engineering
  2. Manpower, Personnel and Training
  3. Survivability
  4. Habitability
  5. Environment, Occupation, Safety and Health (ESOH)

Other specific areas addressed during these projects:

  • Craft performance in environmental conditions
  • Weather environments
  • Night-time/Low-light
  • Controls
  • Displays

ABS Navy recommendations for seated operators

Used existing documentation and research to develop requirements and guidance:

  • ABCD Working Group High Speed Craft Human Factors Engineering Design Guide
  • Guidance Notes on the Application of Ergonomics to Marine Systems (2013)
  • U.S. Navy (2005, May 20). Human Systems Integration (HSI) Policy in Acquisition and Modernization, NAVSEAINST 3900.8A. Washington, D.C.: Department of the Navy.
  • Farrell, 2003. Human Factors Issues related to Uninhabited Vehicles and Autonomy, Canadian Forces Experimentation Centre National Defence Headquarters.
  • DoD Directive 4715.1E (Environment, Safety and Occupational Health (ESOH))
  • Standard Practice for Human Engineering Design for Marine Systems, Equipment, and Facilities (ASTM-F-1166)

Job Task Analysis

Carderock Job Task Analysis draft image

Process: Job task analysis of a special class of Navy personnel in which we completed task analyses, conducted card sorting, focus groups and interview sessions, and linked task difficulty and job responsibilities with physical and cognitive selection capabilities and boat design recommendations.