This Sounds Like A Really Bad Idea
Found this article over at The Sub Report, and at first I thought it was a joke. Maybe I'm too tired, though -- tell me what you think:
Lockheed's Advance Technology Lab in New Jersey is working on a system called T-TIDES (TTWCS-Tool for Interface Design Evaluation with Sensors) that will read the human physiological markers and tip off declines in crew effectiveness...Just what guys on watch need -- being hooked up to a bunch of crap that sounds an alarm or something if they zone out. I'm sorry, but on a boring midwatch, higher brain functions normally drop to zero as the watchteam discusses things like "name all the submarine slang terms that are named after an animal". (Examples: White Rat, Bear Trap, Bull Nuke)
...T-TIDES will look particularly for signs of sleepiness and stress in the sailors who launch Tomahawks from ships and submarines. The research goes to the assumption that even the most-sophisticated weapons systems require human operators who are at the top of their games.
"A human's physiological markers typically depart from norms during high workload, distraction or drowsiness," Lockheed said in a news release. "As a result, performance may decline, reducing overall effectiveness of the interface."
The system relies on instruments that read vital signs such as brain activity, heart rate, pupil dilation and even the level of oxygen in the bloodstream.
The worst thing is, you just know that NR will buy it for Maneuvering watchstanders if it turns out to work, and then you'd have long detailed procedures about how to hook the machines up. That'd totally be the end of sea stories about guys falling asleep in Maneuvering, like the time I heard about where the EOOW fell asleep, and the CO, XO, and Eng came in and sat at the three panels (with the regular watchstanders kneeling down in front of the EOOW's desk), and then the CO did an RPCP alarm test...