Advanced Human-Machine Interfaces: Charles River Analytics Multimodal Toolkit Can Help Navy Pilots during Aerial Refueling

Charles River Analytics Inc., developer of intelligent systems solutions, has received additional funding from the US Navy to develop an Ecological Advanced Support Interface Toolkit for Heads Up Attention to Improve Warfighter Knowledge (EASI-HAWK). EASI-HAWK provides a set of novel human-machine interfaces so that Navy pilots can more safely perform aerial refueling missions. The two-year EASI-HAWK effort is valued at nearly $1 million.

“Aerial refueling is one of the most demanding and dangerous tasks that pilots perform,” explained Stephanie Kane, Senior Scientist at Charles River Analytics and Principal Investigator on the EASI-HAWK effort. “EASI-HAWK is a prime example of how novel human-machine interfaces can make a direct and tangible impact to improve safety for pilots.”

EASI-HAWK uses auditory, visual, and augmented reality strategies for head-mounted displays that support pilot spatial orientation during challenging missions. Pilots often suffer from “the leans,” a spatial disorientation phenomena caused by continued, long-sustained bank turns during refueling activities. Our multimodal toolkit provides critical spatial orientation cues to pilots, which can augment spatial perception in the cockpit.


EASI-HAWK complements other techniques and applications we have developed for novel human-machine interfaces, such as our hands-free, multimodal interfaces for medics to capture patient information.

This material is based upon work supported by the Naval Air Warfare Center under Contract No. N68335-18-C-0113. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of NAVAIR. NAVAIR Public Release 2019-354. Distribution Statement A – Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.

Solutions to serve the warfighter, technology to serve the world®

Charles River Analytics brings foundational research to life, creating human-centered intelligent systems at the edge of what’s possible, through deep partnerships with our customers. 

To learn more about Charles River or our current projects and capabilities, contact us