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LWON Langley – YAMIRA SANTIAGO-ESPADA

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YAMIRA SANTIAGO-ESPADA
NASA
Langley Research Center

Computer Science Researcher

Currently, Ms. Yamira Santiago works for two projects under two NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC) programs that are the Integrated Intelligent Flight Deck (IIFD)- Aviation Safety Program and the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV)/ORION program.

In the IIFD project, she oversees the redevelopment of a software application used to assess mental workload. The application is called the Multi Attribute Task Battery (MATB) and it simulates tasks that pilots do while flying. The application can be used by pilots and non pilots. While “flying”, the users of the applications will respond to events and take corrective actions, if needed. The actions of the users will be recorded, and the data produced are studied by the researchers. The MATB has been employed by researchers around the World. In some studies, MATB has been used to understand how the human brain performs during the night, how the pilots react when they are fatigued and sleep deprived. Other areas in which MATB has been used includes the following: Aerospace Medicine, Simulator Flight performance, Biological Engineering, Workload in Air Traffic Control, Physiological metrics of mental workload and Performance Battery generation, among others.

In CEV/ORION program, she is part of the Videogrammetry group also, work with a multidisciplinary team to support crash tests research done at the Impact Dynamics Facility. [Videogrammetry has to do with using videos to extract measurements about the physical world.]

Yamira employs techniques that make it possible for researchers to do their scientific investigations. Specifically, she processes the videos taken during the crash test to produce data. Her principal role is leading the centroiding effort, in which she uses an image processing program in a computer to process the video data after the test is done. From the videos of the drops, Yamira generates text files with the x,y position (displacement) of the test article at a given time. She forwards the text files to the other members of the Videogrammetry team that perform the analysis of the dynamics of the test which allows them provide results such as Velocity at impact, displacement, total slideout. All the results are further studied by NASA LaRC Scientists and Engineers or from other NASA Centers, and/or by the Department of Defense (DoD).

Educational Background

Yamira joined NASA Langley Research Center in 2004, as part of the NASA’s College Recruitment Program. During the first career years, she was introduced to the areas of Software Systems Safety, Verification and Validation and Formal Methods.

Yamira is from Aibonito, Puerto Rico, where most of her family currently live. She holds a Bachelor in Science in Mathematics(Computer Science) from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus, and a Master of Library and Information Science from the University of Puerto Rico at Río Piedras.

One of her favorite activities is to support missions to Latin America through Christian organizations in College Campuses and Churches. She has participated in short term outreach efforts to countries like Dominican Republic, Perú, Ecuador, Mexico and Nicaragua. She likes to play instruments such as the recorder and saxophone, write skits and songs and do calligraphy. She also sings in the choir of her church.

On-Line Articles &/or Profile link(s)

DECEMBER 2009


NASA Langley Research Center is located in the city of Hampton, near the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay.

NASA Langley continues to forge new frontiers in aviation and space research as it has since 1917, when it was established as the nation’s first civilian aeronautics laboratory! It is considered the NASA “Mother” center. Not only does Langley develop Airframe Systems, scientists also examine the layers of air planes and spacecraft fly through in Atmospheric Sciences.

For more information, visit NASA Langley Research Center home page.