HAMMLAB is IFE’s simulator-based research facility for studying operator crew behaviour and performance in control room environments. We study human-system interaction and crew collaboration, and integrate the knowledge gained into new designs, operator support systems, and methods for safety analysis. This way we help industries ensure safe and efficient operations and training.
R&D from HAMMLAB provides principles, methods, designs, tools and prototypes relevant for nuclear, petroleum, power and other industries; for operations and training.
We utilize advanced research tools and methods, including powerful simulator technology, flexible HMIs, and extensive data collection with powerful capabilities for data analysis. To ensure industry relevance we engage professional operating crews in studies and evaluations.
HAMMLAB serves two main purposes
- Enable realistic studies of operator crew behaviour and performance when controlling complex industrial plants or processes
- Provide a realistic environment to develop, test and evaluate prototype control centers and their individual systems such as human-machine interfaces, alarm systems, computerized procedures and plant automation
Results from studies performed in HAMMLAB provide new knowledge about basic challenges for individuals and crews. We study collaboration between humans and automation, crew teamwork, operating roles, the use of procedures, alarm- and support systems, and different human-machine interface solutions.
Results are used by plants in training and operations, by vendors and regulators, and as input to national and international standards, guidelines and regulatory frameworks.
HAMMLAB includes 3 full-scope nuclear power plant simulators. The simulators represent a typical Gen III PWR plant, a Swedish BWR plant, and an imagined future 12-unit Small Modular Reactor iPWR-type plant, respectively.
In the control room professional crews operate the simulated plants. From the gallery the experiment team controls simulator scenarios, observes crew behaviour, and evaluates performance.
Simulator HMIs can be operated remotely over the web, providing options to study the collaboration between control room crews and external parties, such as technical support centers.
IFE’s Virtual Reality Centre, Cyber Security Centre and FutureLab complements HAMMLAB with additional exploratory research activities.
Data collection and performance assessments
HAMMLAB’s research and development teams are multi-disciplinary and include experts in nuclear power plant operations, industrial psychology, interaction design and computer science.
During scenarios we record audio from individual microphones; video from multiple cameras; trend plots of relevant simulator variables; and timestamped list of operator actions, inserted malfunctions, and alarms & events from the simulation. We can also record physiological data such as eye-tracking and electrical brain and heart activity. Finally, we collect subjective data from the participants through questionnaires and debrief-interviews.
Subject-matter experts evaluate different dimensions of crews’ performance. Advanced tools for performance assessment and post-scenario replay allow for in-depth analysis of operator and crew performance.
ProcSee is software to develop and display HMI for process monitoring and control. It is provided free of charge to member organisations of the NEA Halden HTO Project, and as a commercial product to others.
STEAMS is a software product to record and play back simulator sessions. It integrates audio, video, screen content, data logs, instructor-initiated malfunctions, operator actions and plant responses into a combined, synchronised stream for post-scenario replay and analysis.
SCORE features structured and consistent evaluation of operator and crew performance. SCORE supports instructors and evaluators in preparing schemas and in using these to evaluate performance. SCORE can also be used by operators for post-scenario self assessments.