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"Towards an Experimental Design Framework for Evaluation of Dynamic Workload and Situational Awareness in Safety Critical Maritime Settings." F. B. Bjorneseth, S. K. Renganayagalu, S. Komandur, M. D. Dunlop, and E. Hornecker. Proc. of British HCI'12. 2012. Download PDF (BibTeX)

Dynamic positioning (DP) systems are complex systems that challenges the operator's mind during complex offshore DP operations. It is both mentally demanding and the operator has to maintain constant situation awareness to be able to react in time to safety-critical situations. The research design that will be presented in this work-in-progress paper, aims at investigating the variations of high and low mental workload during dynamic positioning operations in the maritime domain using advanced eye- tracking equipment. This type of equipment is utilized to assess the operator's focal areas on the vessel's bridge during the operation and correlate the eye-tracking results with more traditional metrics measuring mental workload, such as heart rate monitoring and NASA-TLX. The experiment has been divided into four different sub-experiments, where the last iteration will compare workload assessments between a current and a new graphical user interface of a DP system. The results from these experiments will give valuable insight in DP operations and provide possibilities of tailoring placement of information from the DP system so that safety can be improved by supporting the operator during operation.