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Dr. Greg Zacharias Participates in Strategic Planning for Future Aerospace Medical and Human Factors Challenges

President of Charles River Analytics Presents Overview of Avionics Systems Growth at MIT

Dr. Greg Zacharias Participates in Strategic Planning for Future Aerospace Medical and Human Factors Challenges

Dr. Greg Zacharias, President and Senior Principal Scientist at Charles River Analytics, took part in a Strategic Planning Activity on Aerospace Medical and Human Factors Challenges, organized by the Man-Vehicle Laboratory (MVL) of the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The event, held at MIT on March 5, 2009, brought together about 100 aerospace life science and human factors experts, who also celebrated the 65th birthday of Dr. Chuck Oman, Director of the MVL.

Dr. Zacharias, an alumnus of the MIT Aeronautics/Astronautics Department, and alumnus and current Research Affiliate of the MVL, presented a brief overview of the history and current trends in aerospace avionics systems. He demonstrated how the vast increase in the capabilities of embedded aerospace subsystems software—which long ago made the aircraft flight engineer obsolete—will likely make the two-person commercial crew obsolete as well. Dr. Zacharias also showed how this will be accompanied by enormous growth in communication bandwidth, easily enabling 2Gbps “information pipes” when laser systems become a reality, allowing everyone in military or commercial airborne networks to be linked together. The appropriate use and oversight of this enormous growth in onboard autonomy and high density network linkages will provide the aerospace community with many opportunities, but a number of operational and human-system integration challenges as well.

Handley Page Monoplane introduces
barometer on dashboard to help the pilot
estimate altitude (1911)
One hundred years later, Boeing 787
Dreamliner provides for fully integrated
and configurable glass cockpit (2010)

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