Deep Blue is a research and consultancy company based in Rome. It was set up in 2001 by a two researchers from major Italian Universities and Research Centres: an Assistant Professor at the Communication Science Department of the University of Siena, Italy, where she has been teaching, Human Computer Interaction and Educational Technologies since 1996 and a Senior Research in the area of system and software engineering at the "Information Technology and Robotics Division" of the Italian Research Agency for New technology, Energy and the Environment (ENEA). The area of activity of the company is the analysis, design and evaluation of interactive complex systems, with particular focus on the interactions, integration and allocation of functions between the human, procedural and equipment components of the systems. 100% of the company's work is for European and international organisations. Currently the company is working on a number of specific issues including:
• evaluation and validation of air traffic concepts, systems and tools;
• evaluation of dependability of interactive systems;
• evaluation of methods and techniques for human integration in the lifecycle of aviation systems;
• survey of practices in safety nets;
• communication and dissemination of project results;
• design and development of training courses.
Deep blue has a multidisciplinary team of specialists in Human Factors, Cognitive Psychology, Interaction Design and Safety and it is made up of 15 consultants. Large part of them hold a PhD, ensuring a qualified and motivated staff with strong Human Factors and Safety backgrounds and experience in air traffic management.
The company’s success is due to:
• the strong relationship with Universities and research centres;
• the sound theoretical background (among which activity theory, distributed cognition and user centred design);
• the adoption of a consolidated validation methodology.
Furthermore, the majority of the Deep Blue staff work in multidisciplinary teams (human factors, safety experts, controllers, interaction designers), here human factors and safety experts collaborate together. The human factors and safety staff are used to co-operate in many phases of the validation process: during the preparation, the conduct, the data analysis, the reporting and the results dissemination. Starting from very similar objectives, the human factors and safety experts, even if conserving their specific perspectives, enrich the discussion by offering complementary contributions.
The company is and has been involved in several international collaborative projects, in the ATM and Aviation domain, dealing with these issues, including: CARE Innovative Action – Creative Research Environment for ATM, (CARE-CREA!) followed by a training course in for EUROCONTROL RESEARCH CENTRE in Bretigny on the application of the methodology developed during the project, Human Integration in the Lifecycle of Aviation Systems (HILAS), Cooperative Approach to ATS (CAATS); Survey of Practices in Safety Nets (SPIN), Mediterranean Free Flight (MFF); Medium Term Conflict Detection (MTCD); Automatic Safety Monitoring Tool (ASMT); Gate to Gate (G2G); European Validation Platform (EVP). At the national level Deep Blue has a consolidated collaboration experience with ENAV, the Italian Air Navigation Service Provider, for the provision of support and consultancy in a range of projects including: MFF, ASMT G2G, TMA 2010+, FASTI South and the safety monitoring reporting system Further information can be traced at: www.dblue.it/public/main/projects/en.