CREWS: Crew Recommender for Effective Work in Space

Project: Research project

Project Details


We are at the dawn of a new era of human space exploration. Moving beyond low earth orbit and the relative safety of the International Space Station toward near-Earth asteroids and Mars present previously unimaginable opportunities as well as organizational challenges. One significant challenge is the complexity of the operating environment within which astronauts will work. This complexity will place enormous demands on astronauts, and research is needed that develops concrete countermeasures to mitigate the risks stemming from performance decrements due to inadequate cooperation, coordination, communication, and psychosocial adaptation within a team. Astronauts will push the bounds of human cognitive and social functioning as they multitask across tasks, teams, and tools working toward personal, team, and system goals. This multidisciplinary research project is designed to help them do just that. This three-year programmatic investigation into team task switching leverages: (1) agent-based models to understand how task shifting behavior and performance-related switching costs occur based on dynamic interplay between independent and interdependent tasks, (2) laboratory experiments conducted in two multiteam systems laboratories (one at Georgia Tech, the other at Northwestern) to test the theoretical model derived from agent-based models, (3) unobtrusive data collection strategies to capture information on the tasks and complex social network structures of ISS crew members, (4) design of interventions to enable adaptive team task switches using virtual experiments, (5) validation of intervention strategies using one of NASA’s space analogs, and (6) development of a dashboard decision aid to anticipate and pre-empt dysfunctional task switching. An innovative feature of our investigation is the use of a multidimensional network approach to characterize and model the switches between tasks, tools, teams and multi-team systems. The combined outputs of this prop
Effective start/end date7/1/159/30/22


  • NASA Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center (NNX15AM32G-000022)


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