Task Space Human Factors and Habitability MIDAS-FAST: Development and Validation of a Tool to Support Function Allocation (Completed)
Last Published:  07/31/19 10:05:33 AM (Central)
Short Title: MIDAS Fast
Responsible HRP Element: Space Human Factors and Habitability
Collaborating Org(s):
Funding Status: Completed - Task completed and produced a deliverable
Procurement Mechanism(s):

The general goal of this task was to develop tools and generate empirically-based guidelines that support designers develop new technologies by: a) anticipating and avoiding potential problems in function allocation strategies with newly developed systems; b) assure that systems and their function allocation strategies can be implemented seamlessly and in a way to minimize transient and longer term impacts on performance in missions.


  1. Develop and validate a computer-based tool to allow researchers to evaluate various function allocation strategies in space missions. The tool will leverage the Man-Machine Integration Design and Analysis System (MIDAS, developed by NASA Ames), and provide the MIDAS-FAST (Function Allocation Simulation Tool).
    • Develop a research-based module of human-automation interaction.
    • Develop human performance models of scenarios of interest. These models will be based on task analyses performed in cooperation with subject matter experts (SMEs).
    • Perform various validation studies throughout this project. The team will validate the task analyses by talk-through sessions with SMEs.
    • Validate human performance model and human-automation interaction module predictions, validated in empirical, human-in-the-loop studies.
    • Refine the models using the results of the validations.
  2. Develop a prototype tool that is both usable and useful for researchers, allowing them to easily modify scenarios and evaluate different potential automation conditions.  


The purpose of this tool is to enable researchers to evaluate novel human-automation systems early in the design process to conduct systematic task/needs analyses.

Mitigation/Partial mitigation of the gap/risk: This task helps partially mitigate the gap associated with poor task design (gap HARI-01) by developing guidelines for appropriate task allocation between humans and automation to increase performance, efficiency and safety, Methods and tools to help optimally distribute functions between humans and automation in space and on the ground will be developed to support the risks identified in HARI-01. The design tool includes guidelines as well as a function allocation module, and visualization capabilities of predicted performance (workload, mission performance accuracy and time) across a variety of function allocation strategies while interacting with automation on the ISS.