Quantifying Hypoxia in Pilots through Eye-tracking Data Analysis

Project: Research project

Project Details


Quantifying Hypoxia in Pilots through Eye-tracking Data Analysis Quantifying Hypoxia in Pilots through Eye-tracking Data Analysis Hypoxia is the most hazardous threat to flight crew caused by not receiving enough oxygen when flying at high altitudes at decreased ambient pressure. Although supplemental oxygen systems has become a key aspect of risk mitigation in high altitude flights, the problems of incapacitation and fatalities still exist and occur in the operational settings due to lack of early warnings. The drawbacks in monitoring physiological parameters for early symptoms of hypoxia are the inter-subject variability and more importantly, lack of non-contact techniques. Besides physiological parameters, there is one other proven major hypoxic symptom in the form of decrement in ocular motility in tracking or reading tasks. However, it has not been deeply explored as a viable early-indicator of cerebral hypoxia in modern aviation. Hence, we propose to investigate and identify the early signs of cerebral hypoxia by real time monitoring and analyzing the scan paths using non-invasive remote eyetracking technology. The specific goals of this research proposal project are: (1) to quantify the effect of hypoxia on eye movements at different simulated altitudes by analyzing scan paths at saccade and fixation levels during visual perception and reading tasks, (2) to develop mathematical framework based on data mining methodologies for real time analysis and visualization of the scan path data to identify early signs of hypoxia and provide individualized feedbacks with confidence measures, and (3) to quantitatively evaluate the relationships between scan path features, atmospheric gas mixtures, and physiological parameters such as CO2 and oxygen saturation levels in the blood at different altitudes.
Effective start/end date1/1/1112/31/11


  • Mayo Clinic Arizona: $25,468.00


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