Progress and Background Documents

Situation Awareness Working Group: Status November 2014

The SA WG has been hard at work over the last few months and has several updates to report on ongoing work and projects.
They are currently working on alarm management and prioritization strategy for mining shovels.  A survey was distributed to relevant vendors with the aim to collect an inventory of alarms & their nature. The feedback from these surveys is currently being  complied and then a master alarm database will be formed. Ultimately, the intention is to produce a prioritized list of alarms and from there publish a guideline. This work is being led by C3 Human Factors.
The Display Mgr PoC has been upgraded with updates from the various OTM’s involved and was showcased at the OP/OC conference in Toronto in early October.

Andrew Chapman, Peck Tech and Iain Allen, Barrick are co-leading a project to get the unified display manager on an actual shovel and hooked into live systems, to get operator feedback. Shell has graciously offered to allow GMSG access to a shovel at their Albian Sands site near Ft. McMurray, AB. The SA WG is working closely with this project team to support this effort.The SA WG- continues to work closely with the T&C WG in support of their unified display API development work.

New! Situation Awareness Working Group POC Video

Situation Awareness Working Group: Status June 2014

The Situation Awareness Group has had a busy few months, with measurable progress realized in some key areas.

Their flagship project, the Display Manager Proof of Concept, was a hit at CIM 2014 in Vancouver. This project is gaining notoriety and popularity, supported by continued promotion, including a new video, made by Peck Tech. Click on the link above to view the video.

The benefit of collaboration continues to be made evident, with the addition of MineWare as the newest OTM to be displayed on the PoC, which brings the total to five so far (Wenco, GuardVant, Motion Metrics, Safe Mine, Mine Ware).

Currently, discussions are underway with HF consultants to look at creating an alarm prioritization scheme and delivery strategy for alarms/notifications in shovel cabs. As well, a guideline for display placement and organization in shovel cabs is almost complete, and is awaiting peer/professional review.

The SA group is pleased to welcome Mark Baker as a new co-leader.

Near term goals have been identified as:

- Peck Tech to finish up display manager PoC and deliver to GMSG (end of July)

- publish display placement guideline, as described above (by end of summer)

- Get operator feedback on display manager PoC, and potentially get the PoC interfacing and operational on an actual shovel. 

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.

Development of Integrated Common Operator Interface for Shovel Mine Vehicles

Presentation at ISARC, August 2013, Montreal

Status as of June 21, 2013

This spring, Peck Tech Consulting was engaged to develop a proof of concept software implementation of a common display to allow the integration of multiple vendors’ systems into a single screen.

They are working towards an API approach to connecting to onboard devices and are preparing to present the first iteration of this Unified Shovel Display POC at the World Mining Council on August 15 in Montreal during a jointly held workshop between GMSG and EMESRT.

Situational Awareness WG Survey results

Presentation at GMSG CIM Technical Session, Andrew Chapman, GMSG SA Working Group Project Lead
Towards_a_Unified_ Shovel_ Display

Past Project Updates:

December 31, 2012

Final Project Report and Final Project Report UI Description now available online.

(see SA Technologies project presentation)

 December 13, 2012:

Task 2: Design user Interfaces for Shovel Operators has been completed and presented, and Task 3: Conduct Initial User Review and Testing of the Prototype Displays is well underway, with operator review/feedback follow-ups partially completed.

The Situation Awareness Working Group focus is now on looking beyond Task 3, to dig deeper into the GDTA results to establish an incremental approach to applying SA logic to mine operations. Engagement with stakeholders will remain a key priority. In particular, along with mining company and OEM Working Group members, there is a need for involvement of technology vendors. Interested parties please contact Heather Ednie at

In 2013 efforts will be made to develop a case study scenario, to which certain GDTA results can be used directly to improve and/or solve an observed problem.

A conference call for the Situation Awareness Working Group will be scheduled for early 2013.

MSGC Shovel UI Progress Report Task 2

MSGC Shovel 19in Storyboard – Main, Task2

MSGC Shovel 19in Storyboard – PreCheck Task2

MSGC SA Common User Interface – Shovels, Status Report – August2012

September 12, 2012:

One week into September, two site visits have been completed as part of Task 1 of the Development of a Common User Interface for Large Shovels project. SA Technologies personnel visited Teck’s Highland Valley Copper mine, in British Columbia, and Barrick Gold’s Goldstrike Complex in Nevada.

On site the focus was on operator interviews (4 to 5 per site) as well as plenty of onboard observations on different shovel models (P&H wire rope 2800s and 4100s). Significant differences in cockpit configurations were observed, site to site, but also between shovels at the same site. These differences are to be acknowledged by the output of this project.

A key focus of this project is that it is to be operator-driven, and will include operator feedback once the prototype is developed.

Currently, the information gathered during the site visits is under analysis. More information will be available during the GMSG General Meeting and Workshop on September 25, 8:00 – 11:30 (Las Vegas Hotel), during MINExpo.

July 2012

SA Technologies will be executing a three-task project beginning in July 2012, for the development of integrated common displays for shovel mine vehicles.

Task 1: Conduct Situation Awareness Requirements Analysis

  • determine the SA requirements for Shovel Operators using a Goal-Directed Task Analysis (GDTA) process
  • GDTA sessions will be conducted with 4-6 shovel operators through a series of observations and individual knowledge elicitation sessions
  • Result: the needed SA requirements will be identified and documented in the form of a GDTA for this role. The functional requirements associated with the roles will be detailed and integrated with the GDTAs.

Task 2: Design User Interfaces for Shovel Operators

  • Based on the GDTAs developed in Task 1, design prototype display designs for shovel operations
  • Accompanying prototype screen designs, documentation for each display will describe the functionality provided by each button or tool

Task 3: Conduct Initial User Review and Testing of the Prototype Displays

  • an initial user review of the draft Shovel Operator displays with subject matter experts
  • cognitive walkthrough to determine initial usability, understandability, information completeness and functionality
  • results used to iterate the UI Specification

SA Technologies is a cognitive engineering firm specializing in the development of training and operator interfaces for advanced systems, including the next generation of systems for aviation, air traffic control, medical, military and power operations. SA Technologies is considered an industry leader in the analysis, design and measurement of situation awareness. Customers include the Federal Aviation Administration, NASA, the U.S. Air Force, Navy, and Army as well as many industrial clients.