Researchers receive approximately $2 million to study how pilots perform in various flight conditions

Dayton, Ohio – Three University of Dayton researchers have received approximately $2 million as part of a Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) involving researchers from Harvard University and The Ohio State University, among others, to model and predict how pilots perform in various flight conditions.

Using pilots flying simulated airplanes in the UD School of Engineering’s Merlin Flight Simulator, mechanical and aeronautical engineering assistant professors Megan and Tim Reissman plus health and sport science associate professor Anne Crecelius will test how maneuvers under various conditions, such as potentially reduced oxygen, affect pilot-aircraft performance.

The UD researchers’ work is part of broader efforts looking to develop interactive models of “human-in-the-machine.”

“The models we develop will help scientifically understand how movements of machines influence how operators control inputs like steering and throttle, and what affect those movements and actions have on their physiological sensory capabilities,” the UD group said.

The schools in this MURI project are funded by the Department of the Navy’s Office of Naval Research (award number N00014-20-1-2163), with Dan Merfeld, professor and vice chair of research in the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, as the principal investigator.

Megan Reissman’s research focuses on the biomechanics of improving human movement performance. Tim Reissman studies the engineering of coupled systems and controls. Crecelius examines the regulation of muscle blood flow and vascular tone at rest and during stress, and improving vascular functioning.

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