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Alion's Crew Station Design Tool (CSDT) allows designers to visualize and optimize their choices of controls and displays, and the position of those elements in a workstation.

CSDT automatically determines the optimum arrangement of controls and displays based upon sound human engineering and ergonomics principles. In order to accomplish this, CSDT uses the task network modeling software Micro Saint Sharp™and communicates with the human figure (anthropometric) software Tecnomatix Jack® from Siemens PLM Software, Inc.

Using the results of a task analysis as its foundation, CSDT helps designers select the most appropriate control for a task and builds a task network model of the activities performed in their desired workstation. Once executed, the task network model identifies operator-task conflicts and provides frequency-of-use data for each control and display.

CSDT uses this data to place the selected controls and displays in Micro Saint Sharp’s 3D Animator. Finally, the suggested arrangement and the data acquired from the task network model are used to generate and execute a three-dimensional human figure model in Jack. Jack simulates the physical behavior of humans interacting in the workstation and allows designers to visualize the feasibility of certain tasks (i.e., can a human see and actuate a control within the specified environment).

When the designer has finished viewing the Jack model, he or she can return to any part of CSDT to make adjustments in their design.

Some of the key features of the CSDT are:

  • A library of controls and displays and a query system that helps designers select the best control or display for a particular task
  • A library of North American location conventions (stereotypes) for controls and displays in different types of workstations
  • Options for importing data
  • Automatic code generation for the task network model
  • Automatic data collection and generation of reports, including operator utilization and the suggested coordinates for each control and display in the crew station

System Requirements

  • 500 Megahertz Intel Pentium-class processor
  • 128 MB RAM (256 MB recommended)
  • 300 MB of free hard disk space
  • CD-ROM drive
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Windows XP Professional, Windows XP Home Edition, or Windows 2000


The research reported in this document/presentation was performed in connection with Contract DAAD17-02-C-0019 with the U.S. Army Research Laboratory - Human Research and Engineering Directorate.  The views and conclusions contained in this document/presentation are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as presenting the official policies or position, either expressed or implied, of the U.S. Army Research Laboratory or the U.S. Government unless so designated by other authorized documents.  Citation of manufacturer’s or trade names does not constitute an official endorsement or approval of the use thereof.  The U.S. Government is authorized to reproduce and distribute reprints for Government purposes notwithstanding any copyright notation hereon.

For more information on the CSDT, please contact us at

Demonstration Example

File Description Date Uploaded
CSDT Library AVI Video  ·  avi/33MB 8/17/2012 10:10 am
CSDT/Jack AVI Video  ·  avi/42MB 8/17/2012 10:33 am
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