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  University of Central Florida Spring 2006

Raydon Corp.'s no-cost lease will aid driver simulation studies

Raydon Corporation has provided one of the company’s advanced driving simulators to IST at no cost. The simulator will be used for various transportation and simulation-based training research projects over the next two years.

The institute’s immediate plan is to use the Raydon simulator to help test its commercial driver license evaluation system. IST’s Advanced Performance Technology group, in collaboration with the Center for Advanced Transportation Systems Simulation, also at UCF, developed the system to train, test, license and re-certify commercial truck drivers.


Advanced Performance Technology researcher Talleah Allen will help guide use of the Raydon driving simulator in IST validation studies.

According to Advanced Performance Technology group director Ron Tarr, the Raydon simulator, with its advanced capabilities, will fit right in with the group's commercial driver license evaluation program and will provide an excellent platform for investigating other simulation applications to enhance safety in driver performance programs.

Raydon has placed its driving simulators in schools and facilities in Florida and across the U.S. According to the company's vice president of commercial products, Deborah Quackenbush, the two-year, no cost lease provides a tool to UCF to continue research into how to enhance safety for all highway users.

Founded in 1988, Raydon Corporation focuses on both military and commercial applications of simulation training technology. One of its goals is to provide practical and affordable training solutions to improve performance.

IST-led team to study team cognition under new MURI grant




Eduardo Salas

IST research director Eduardo Salas will lead a three-year, multidisciplinary university research initiative (MURI) to study how teams might best process information and work together to make operational decisions.

UCF is one of 20 universities selected to share in more than $150 million in research funding. The Department of Defense, which funds the awards, reviewed 143 proposals. IST’s MURI will be sponsored by the Office of Naval Research.
Other key members of the IST/UCF MURI team are IST director, Dr. Randall Shumaker, who will be responsible for the business management and facilities aspects of the project, and Drs. Stephen Fiore, Shawn Burke, Florian Jentsch, and Valerie Sims, who will lead the multi-phase research. A post-doctoral fellow also will assist in the effort.
Other MURI team members are Arizona State University, University of Pittsburgh and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
The IST team will develop ways to increase understanding of team cognition and collaboration in network-centric warfare environments. These environments rely on extensive networking of sensors, warfighting hardware and information technology. Command teams must process and use all these data to direct operations. How might do this in the most efficient way possible is a subject of this research.
An ultimate outcome of the multi-year effort would be better ways to choose, train and equip teams for rapid and accurate decisionmaking in high stress, information-loaded situations.

Augmented reality research gets boost from DoD equipment award

The DoD's Defense University Research Instrumentation Program (DURIP) has announced that it will fund equipment for

Glenn Martin (shown here with equipment from IST's virtual reality testbed) will use the DoD equipment grant to expand augmented reality research

augmented reality research at IST. A $163K proposal by senior research scientist Glenn Martin was one of 183 selected from among 933 submitted to the federal defense agency.

DURIP supports the purchase of state-of-the-art scientific equipment costing $50K or more that enables university researchers to conduct DoD-relevant research. Investigators generally have difficulty purchasing instruments costing that much since contracts and grants usually don't provide for it.

Glenn will use the award to purchase equipment that will expand IST’s augmented reality research.

“Everything we have done so far has been purely virtual,” says Martin of his lab’s research.

Martin and co-researcher Jason Daly currently have a long-standing project with the Army Research Institute to study the effects of virtual reality in team training.

“The Army’s Future Force Warrior concept has turned much attention to augmented reality,” Martin says. “The DURIP award will help us expand our capabilities into that direction.”

IST has conducted limited experiments in wayfinding using augmented reality. Equipment purchased with the award money will further those studies and provide for other experiments as well.

Augmented reality adds computer-generated graphics, sounds, touch and smell to the natural world. Unlike virtual reality, which immerses the user in a computer-generated “cyber space,” augmented reality allows users to see the world around them, with computer-generated elements superimposed.

Current technology for augmenting a visual image requires the use of a helmet or special glasses. Users can see the real world through the visor along with a computer image projected on the visor and reflected back into their eyes.

One of the biggest challenges for researchers is to develop portable and accurate tracking for these devices so that the computer will deliver the correct information.

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Of note...

Ultra wide band sensor research
to continue
Research on UWB sensors moves to phase 2 with follow-on funding from Office of Naval Research.
See story in the Winter 06 newsletter

Go to the pdf on the projects page

Florida Dept. of Transportation
to continue support for commercial driver certification study

"Virtual Check Ride" research continues with Raydon simulator assistance (see story at left) and FDOT grant for $185K.
See story in the Summer 05 newsletter

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