NASA Explores the Galaxy in More Ways Than One

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NASA uses Horizon Performance software and Galaxy Tablets to evaluate the next generation of astronauts for deep space missions.

NASA and Horizon Performance have developed an innovative process for selecting the next class of Astronauts that will be trained for deep space missions. Using the Gideon[Soft] software solution originally developed by Horizon Performance for the Military Special Operations selection and training units, NASA has introduced Galaxy tablets into field environments to evaluate performance. In 2009, Horizon Performance was awarded an SBIR grant to enhance Gideon[Soft] to evaluate astronaut performance and team cohesion in deep space flight. The original grant focused on software for BlackBerry devices but as the mobile market has dynamically changed over the past four years, the project shifted to developing for Android devices.

There were a number of obstacles that made shifting to mobile devices a challenge such as raters feeling comfortable using mobile device instead of paper, glare and wet conditions. The team came up with creative ways to overcome these issues. The NASA Behavioral Health Performance Operations group spent two years field testing and adapting the software to best meet their needs. Zip lock bags proved a cheap and adequate solution for handling wet conditions and converting the typical black background on white text to a white background with black text and glare guards helped to reduce the glare on sunny days.

The upside to using the mobile devices was the real time electronic data entry which allowed for faster and more effective performance analysis. Decision makers were able to utilize results more rapidly, accurately and with less manpower than with a paper version of the evaluations. The Behavioral Health and Performance group is exploring other places where both Mobile Devices and Gideon[Soft] together can enhance personnel assessment and development.

Contact:
(919)674-6644 or ContactHP(at)HorizonPerformance(dot)com

Resources:
http://www.sbir.gov/sbirsearch/detail/192981
http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2013-01/popsci-qampa-choosing-2013-class-nasa-astronauts

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About Horizon Performance, LLC: Founded in 2003, Horizon Performance is an emerging leader in the critical role of identifying and developing key personnel within fast paced, leading edge organizations. Horizon’s Gideon[Soft] system is a software platform designed to deliver a comprehensive, objective set of results for individuals, by which sound decisions can be made regarding present & future performance. This system, aligned with customer needs, in consultation with our Industrial/Organizational Psychologists, allows coaches, teachers or managers to capture behaviors related to human performance, along with performance data- surveys, peer evaluations, test scores and individual or team events. The company is headquartered in the Research Triangle area at 8000 Regency Parkway, Suite 240, Cary, NC 27518. Additional information is available at http://www.HorizonPerformance.com.

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Janice Benson

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