Cognitive Task analysis of the Halifax-Class Operations Room Officer


  1. Matthews, M.L.
  2. Webb, R.D.G.
  3. Bryant, D.J.
Corporate Authors
Defence and Civil Inst of Environmental Medicine, Downsview ONT (CAN);Humansystems Inc, Guelph ONT (CAN)
This report details the results of a Cognitive Analysis of the Operaitons Room Officers (ORO) position in the HALIFAX class frigate. The purpose of the analysis was to better understand cognitive aspects of Command and Control (C2) in the Operations Room (OR) as a prelude to preparing evaluation measures and methods to assess future Command and Control support systems. The ORO position was selected for analysis from among other OR positions as being the position with the most comprehensive responsibilities, most likely to provide a broad insight into C2 functions and to generlise to other positions. This choice was based in part on an earlier DCIEM report on opportunities for improving C2 support for the OR identified by members of the OR Command team (the Commanding Officer, ORO, Surface Weapons Controller, and Anti Submarine Weapons Controller). This cognitive analysis was based on interviews with four pairs of experienced OROs, with each interview session lasting two days. Interviewees were walked through an operational scenario and prompted to describe their cognitive activities based on their experience with similar events to those in the scenario. The scenario was derived from a training exercise at the HALIFAX land based training simulator and stepped a Canadian Task Group (TG) through a series of threat responses as the TG passed through coastal waters with a high level of civil air and surface traffic. TRUNCATED
Air weapons control;Cognitive task analysis;Cognitive Task Analysis (CTA);Cognitive systems engineering;Decision support sytems;Situational awareness;System design;Halifax Class ships
Report Number
DCIEM-CR-1999-028 — Contract Report
Date of publication
10 Mar 1999
Number of Pages
Hardcopy;Document Image stored on Optical Disk

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