Man, Technology and Organisation

IFE supports American control room modernization program


The U.S. Department of Energy, together with Idaho National Labs (INL) and several nuclear utilities, has started a major program to support the modernization and long-term operation of the existing U.S. nuclear fleet. INL has contracted IFE to support studies at the INL control room simulator in order to develop and test control room concepts and tools, and to measure the benefits and potential drawbacks of these tools.

This marks the first major involvement of IFE-MTO in the U.S. modernization program. Under the INL contract, IFE supplies three products, namely UNID (Universal Information Display system), MITTS (Micro-Task Testing and Training System), and SYNOPTICON, our automatic gaze detection system. IFE also supports INL through the design of scenarios and overview displays.

IFE MTO synoptic eye tracking tool

IFE MTO Synopticon eye tracking tool screenSYNOPTICON combines data from eye tracking glasses and position data from reflective markers (attached to the glasses) to automatically measure what an operator is looking at.

Three researchers from the Industrial Psychology division visited INL in July to test systems and develop scenarios. The highlight of the visit was the first full-scale test of SYNOPTICON. Using SYNOPTICON’s innovative modeling approach, within just 3 hours the researchers produced a 3D model of the simulator’s 49 monitors at an accuracy of 1mm.

Using mobile eye tracking glasses and a position-tracking system, they then demonstrated how they can track an operator’s gaze automatically and in real-time, and map this data onto the 3D model. SYNOPTICON is currently the only system that provides this kind of service.

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IFE MTO Synopticon eye tracking toolIFE MTO synoptic eye trackingIFE’s SYNOPTICON system supports 3D modeling of environments as well as automated, real-time tracking of what an operator is looking at. The yellow vector represents the head orientation, the blue vectors are the gaze vectors (orientation of the eyes), and the red tile indicates the monitor the operator is looking at.