Research Topics

  • Artificial intelligence
  • Automated vehicles
  • Autonomous systems
  • Cognitive
  • Command and control
  • Data analytics
  • Flight research - avionics
  • Flight testing
  • Human factors/ergonomics
  • Human simulation
  • Photonics/optical sensors
  • Sensors
  • UAV research
  • Wireless communication

The Operator Performance Laboratory (OPL) is a world-renowned flight test laboratory that conducts research on human-in-the-loop and intelligent autonomous systems to increase efficiency, inter-operability, and safety.

The lab has been in operation for 21 years with 2,400 hours of flight test and 305-plus projects. OPL has 11 instrumented aircraft (six manned, five unmanned) and six flight simulators. Systems of particular interest include flight decks, airborne sensor systems, unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) systems, and automotive user interface systems. 

OPL resources and capabilities include the following:

  • Labs, shops, hangars, tooling, fixtures, instrumentation

  • Current USAF/AFRL Public Aircraft Operations (PAO)

  • Flight Test process for DoDD 5030.61/AWB-340 and GFR

  • Experienced flight testers and human factors professionals

  • Cognitive Assessment Tool Set (CATS)

  • Flying physiological episode assessment sensors: ECG, EEG, GSR, SpO2, respiration, temp, air quality, physiological shirts, eye tracking, etc.

News

OPL pilot flying an L292

OPL helps DARPA capture 'trust data' for new AI dogfighting

Wednesday, March 24, 2021
University of Iowa Technology Institute
U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA’s) leveraged test flights using AV L-29 jets at the University of Iowa Technology Institute's Operator Performance Lab to gather early stage "trust data" for the Air Combat Evolution (ACE) program. 
Sonalysts ITI

Iowa Technology Institute, Sonalysts partner to improve soldier performance

Tuesday, February 23, 2021
Sonalysts, Inc. is teamed with University of Iowa Technology Institute on an Army Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program Contract to Address “Physical Monitoring Techniques to Improve Warfighter Performance.”  

Contact the Director

OPL Brochure

Legacy Website

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