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Activity title

Fatigue Management in Aircrew

Activity Reference

HFM-ET-171

Panel

Human Factors and Medicine

Security Classification

PUBLIC RELEASE

Status

Active

Activity type

ET

Start date

2018

End date

2019

Keywords

Aviation, Fatigue, Stimulant use

Background

Sleep is an essential life function that when poorly impacted has a myriad of adverse physical and mental outcomes to include increased risk of accidents, injuries, cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, depression and even suicide. Proper sleep is critical to our aviators whose job is physically and mentally demanding requiring constant higher executive function to perform their tasks. The stress on service members during deployment operations to Iraq and Afghanistan is a known trigger for sleep disturbances with this effects then in turn lasting months or years after a deployments end. Unfortunately, many service members have resorted to self-medicating with supplements and energy drinks which are even readily available in deployed environments to maintain alertness to perform their duties. It is therefore critical in our multinational operations to develop a consensus regarding fatigue management policy, training models, fatigue countermeasures and crew scheduling. Multinational missions are also being performed in austere environments such as Antarctica or high altitudes with poor sleep resulting from disturbance of circadian rhythms and high altitude resulting in central apneas disruptive to sleep. Means of improving sleep in austere and deployed conditions such as these is critical to successful aviation operations.

Objectives

1. To identify key questions and issues within this topic; 2. To identify and evaluate current data sources; 3. To explore the potential for establishing a Task Group (TG) and identify potential members 4. To develop a Technical Activity Proposal (TAP) and the Terms of Reference (TOR) for the RTG 5. To lay out a preliminary work plan/Program of Work (PoW) in order to address the identified issues

Topics

1. Compare policy regarding fatigue management, training models, fatigue countermeasures and crew scheduling between nations. 2. Identify knowledge gaps and a strategy for follow-on RTG. 3. Aeromedical assessment/ treatment and disposition of OSA, insomnia etc. 4. Management of sleep in austere environments (ie. Antarctica mission, high altitude)

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