August 9, 2010
NEW DELHI — The Indian Air Force (IAF) and Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) have signed an agreement for series production of a computerized pilot selection system (CPSS).
Trial runs are being facilitated by the IAF, with the system expected to be functional in three years.
Twenty CPSSs will be installed at pilot selection centers in Dehradun, Varanasi and Mysore. Another 10 will be put on stand-by.
Having taken a decade to develop, the embedded microcontroller-based CPSS will help select fighter pilots for high performance aircraft. Its security features capture accurate, reliable data relating to the skills of the candidates.
Advances in various systems combined with the need for handling emergencies and combat operations make severe demands on the pilots. This in turn calls for thorough
and accurate evaluation of “psychomotor processing” skills and mental workload handling ability through “cognitive processing.” The indigenously designed and developed,CPSS meets the requirements, DRDO says.
The computerized mechanism evaluates multitasking skills including psychomotor, information processing, time-sharing coordination and visualization skills, says
Manas K. Mandal, director of the Defense Institute of Psychological Research (DIPR).
The system has been designed with built-in diagnostic facilities for ease of maintenance. Hardware for the system has been developed by the Aeronautical Development Establishment, while the software for cognitive and psychomotor
tests was developed by DIPR.
“Flying in its elemental form is responding accurately and quickly to a rapidly changing stimulus pattern,” DRDO says. “Today the scenario has undergone a sea change. Visual cues have given way to instrumentation and cockpit operations are far more sophisticated.”
- Neelam Mathews