- Research and reports
Research and reports
Dr. Nora Preuss Mattsson
Situational awareness means understanding what's happening around you. It involves understanding your environment, knowing what's going on, and being alert to potential risks or changes. It's like having your "finger on the pulse" of a situation, which helps you make smart decisions and stay safe. Situational awareness is low if a person is tired or distracted; eye tracking may therefore help to determine if a drilling operator is too distracted or too tired to focus properly.
Researchers from the University of Engineering & Technology in Lahore (Pakistan), the University of the Punjab (Pakistan) and the University of Oklahoma (USA) compared eye movements of a novice and expert as indicators of situational awareness within a drilling simulation. Participants were presented with a scenario of real-time well-log data of an oil well on a screen. Eye movements were captured using a Tobii Pro TX300 eye tracker. The novice participant was a student of the Petroleum Engineering Department at the University of Oklahoma. The expert participant was an industry professional, with more than 30 years of experience in the field.
The expert correctly identified and confirmed the anomaly whereas the novice had minimal eye fixations on the anomaly and did not confirm it, as evidenced by the eye tracking data. Hence, oculomotor differences between the expert and novice indicate that an eye tracking system can be used to capture distraction or lack of alertness in workers. A potential use case involves a real-time alarm feedback system that can help during training to make novice participants aware of their deficiencies, which may then improve their performance over time.
In summary, eye tracking is an effective and affordable tool to quantify the situational awareness of a drilling operator. In the future, the authors want to use this technology in real drilling operations to make offshore workers safer.
Raza, M., Kiran, R., Ghazal, S., Jeon, J., Salehi, S., Kang, Z., & Cokely, E. (2023). An Eye Tracking Based Framework for Safety Improvement of Offshore Operations. Journal of Eye Movement Research, 16(3).
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Dr. Preuss Mattsson is a research scientist with a passion for advancing research methodologies and practices.
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