A Biometrically-Enabled Training Solution for the Measurement of Cognitive Overload and Threat Perception in Air Traffic Controllers

Project Lead Organisation:
University of Newcastle

Collaborating Organisation:
University of Technology Sydney
Western Sydney University
University of Sydney

DIN Funding:





Project objective:

Accurate and objective measurement of situational awareness and cognitive load is an unmet need in many facets of military training and personnel selection, including Air Traffic Controllers (ATCs). This collaboration between four universities aims to develop an integrated hardware-software solution for accurate and objective measurements of cognitive load and predicting cognitive overload during training in air traffic controllers.


RAAF Air Traffic Controllers are required to monitor a range of complex data both in civil environments and on deployment. The decisions these operators make have a significant impact on the safety and security of personnel and equipment. The volume of information they are required to process to undertake this critical task can have a detrimental impact on an operator’s ability to make effective decisions and lead to decreased situational awareness. Improving the ability of combat air traffic controllers to operate under difficult conditions is an important goal.


This project will develop non-invasive solution for assessing cognitive load and cognitive overload through the integration of computerized tasks and technology that assesses situational awareness and threat perception. It will allow trainers to more effectively develop the skills of trainees to deal with complex information and making decisions under pressure.

Our Partner Universities

Australian National University logo
Charles Sturt University logo
Macquarie university logo
University of New South Wales logo
University of Newcastle logo
University of Sydney logo
University of Wollongong logo
University of Technology Sydney logo
Western Sydney University logo