Situation Awareness

Situation Awareness: the perception of the elements in the environment within a volume of time and space, the comprehension of their meaning, and the projection of their status in the near future. – Endsley, 1995

Situation Awareness Working Group: Status December 2013

The Situation Awareness Working Group marked a number of points of progress during 2013, as well as experiencing a significant growth in membership size. Participation in the group doubled over the course of 2013, demonstrating that the ‘coalition of the willing’ is growing!

Not only has this group increased in size, it continues to represent a wide-cross section of industry stakeholders, providing a platform for comprehensive dialogue, that covers numerous points of view. Participants cover a broad spectrum of companies: OEM’s, OTM’s, mining companies, Technical consultants, human factors consultants and military/marine expertise.

The year began with collection of feedback, with a Situational Awareness WG Survey that helped delineate priorities. Identified as the most pressing need was Prototype development, which became 2013’s focus. What was truly remarkable and encouraging was the collaborative force of this project, and the way in which the project’s common goal was able to override proprietary lines as several stakeholders lent support by loaning hardware.

Peck Tech Consulting provided a proposal describing two potential options.  The group decided to go with ‘Option B- develop a display manager’.

Peck Tech then moved ahead with the development of a working proof of concept (POC) software implementation of a Unified Shovel Interface which integrated multiple vendors’ systems into a single interface using one-to-two displays. This was delivered and displayed at ISARC/WMC, August 2013, in Montreal. It was very well received by industry members and the hands-on display at the GMSG booth was a head-turner!

Currently, the group is maintaining focus on the display manager proof of concept- continuing development, concentrating on alarm hierarchy/prioritization/delivery methods, as well as the look & feel of the GUI. They are working closely with the Technology and Connectivity Working Group (T&C WG) to ensure parallel efforts remain aligned towards a common vision of an end-to-end solution for a unified shovel display.

The SA group received press attention this past year, including several articles in Barrick’s internal technology newsletter and a paper published in CIM Journal Vol. 4, #4, 2013 (available on with membership), co-authored by Emrah Onal and Andrew Chapman. This paper was also boiled down to poster form and displayed at ISARC/WMC in Montreal. Andrew Chapman presented on this project at CIM 2013 & SME 2013.

Next steps for 2014 include proposals in the works for 2014 work packages:

  • Continuation of display manager development, including preliminary API for alarm publication/subscription
  • Human factors consulting work to look at alarm delivery methods/strategy and further refine the GUI.

The SA group also hopes to showcase their next iteration of the display manager proof of concept at SME 2014, Feb. 23-26, 2014 in Salt Lake City, UT.

This Working Group continues to lead R&D efforts to incorporate the elements of situation awareness into mobile mining equipment, leading to increased safety and operator performance.

Beginning with a focus on the development of an integrated common operator interface for shovels, SA applications could be developed for other types of equipment in the future.

Click here for the Final Report and Final User Interface Description of the SA Working Group’s 2012 project, Development of a Common User Interface for Mine Shovels.