Biofeedback Assistant to Improve Control Room Operators Reliability
Authors: Gyula Szabó, Ákos Jóvér
Abstract: Control room operators’ reliability is a focal issue in automation not only because of the famous major industrial catastrophes like Chernobyl, Bhopal or Three Mile Island, but because of the high persisting human-related risks in e.g. transport, chemistry, energy plants. Extended research has been made on the genesis and prevention strategies of human error, as well as on the physiological and behavioural aspects of the control room operators performance. The concept presented in this paper includes the “actual attention need of the automation system” which is a prediction based on the general state and trends of the behaviour of the process controlled, and redefines the “expected / desired operator’s state” accordingly. The experimental system presented includes the data acquisition, the data processing, the intervention function and the interface to the automation system. The system monitors the operators’ physiological and behavioural data related to their readiness, the intervention function executes various feedback mechanism, meanwhile the data processing unit chooses the desired actions. This biofeedback assistant helps to improve the whole system reliability, because it can prevent the falling asleep, can detect the absence of the operator, or can initiate an unscheduled system review during under loaded time periods.
Keywords: control room, operators reliability, bio-feedback, automation
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