Newswise — Wichita State psychology professor Jibo He is collaborating with a team from the University of Oklahoma to conduct research and development on head-mounted display and wearable devices used in simulator-based pilot training.

The Federal Aviation Administration selected research teams from the University of Oklahoma (OU) and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University to lead the new Air Transportation Center of Excellence (COE) for Technical Training and Human Performance.

The COE will conduct research and development on technical training for air traffic controllers, aviation safety inspectors, engineers, pilots and technicians.

The FAA is funding the research with a nearly $290,000 grant.

As principal investigator, He is studying the decision-making process of air traffic controllers with the goal of improving aviation safety and human performance of pilots.

Three graduate and two undergraduate students are working on the project in He's Human Interaction Automation Laboratory. Students are involved in proposal writing and have participated in all the processes of scientific research, including experimental design, data collection and analysis, and manuscript writing.

He is also working with WSU aerospace engineering professor James Steck to develop better technologies for aviation safety. They have developed a Traffic Collision Advisory System (TCAS) using Google Glass to alert pilots of potential collisions.

The COE program is a long-term, cost-sharing partnership between academia, industry and government. The FAA works with center members and affiliates to conduct research in airspace and airport planning and design, environment and aviation safety, as well as to engage in other activities to assure a safe and efficient air transportation system.

The collaboration between universities, He say, is key to the success of this research.

"Aviation research needs a lot of resources – access to airports, pilots, air traffic controllers and expensive flight simulators. It is rare for a single researcher or institute to own all these resources," He says. "Collaboration allows us to share resources and inspire each other."

The Air Transportation Center of Excellences is one of 12 COEs established by the FAA in critical topic areas focusing on unmanned aircraft systems, alternative jet fuels and environment, general aviation safety, commercial space transportation, airliner cabin environment, aircraft noise and aviation emissions mitigation, advanced materials, general aviation research, airworthiness assurance, operations research, airport pavement and technology, and computational modeling of aircraft structures.

A photograph is available at # # # #Contact: Jibo He, 316-978-3823 or [email protected].