Case Studies

A deeper look at some of our favorite projects.


Autonomous Aerial Cargo/Utility System (AACUS)​

Cognitive systems engineering for autonomous flight

The primary goals of the AACUS Innovative Naval Prototype (INP) program were: the development of advanced autonomous capabilities to enable rapid cargo delivery by unmanned, and potentially optionally-manned, Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) systems – i.e., helicopters, to enable any Marine to supervise this capability from an intuitive, hand-held, field interface, and to enable specialists to plan and execute multiple, simultaneous missions for these full-size, autonomous helicopters.
Through extensive cognitive systems engineering efforts, we supported the development of first-of-their-kind software system interfaces for Marines engaging AACUS in the field and supervising from rear bases.
The AACUS system was recognized in numerous awards for innovation, including the Howard Hughes Award given by the American Helicopter Society (win) and the prestigious Robert J. Collier Trophy (finalist).
See Full Briefing

Structured Analysis for Intelligence​

Human-centered cognitive aids

While structured analytic techniques in the intelligence community have received mixed reviews, there are demonstrated advantages to helping analysts brainstorm and reason through complex problem sets with flexible software tools built for purpose.
We supported smart software development teams from General Dynamics in developing a series of tools to support structured brainstorming, indicator analysis, and risk management. Our contributions included interface design, usability testing, and instructional resources.
Our tools remain in use today in the U.S. Intelligence Community.
What we know DOESN'T work for analysts

Veterans Health Administration

Documenting cognitive work in healthcare

The Veterans Health Administration is America’s largest integrated health care system, providing care at 1,293 health care facilities, including 171 medical centers and 1,112 outpatient sites of care of varying complexity, serving 9 million enrolled Veterans each year. Understanding the cognitive challenges for clinicians working in such a diverse ecosystem of tools, people and processes, requires efficient methods tuned for uncovering cognitive performance.
Sponsored by VHA, our team 60 conducted cognitive task analysis interviews across 7 VHA facilities in just a few months.
We provided an in-depth look at the cognitive complexity, software and information requirements, and unique contextual challenges faced by VHA clinicians, uncovering findings that had never been reported in the literature. The findings helped develop guidelines for clinical decision support tools.
See the work


White House Situation Room

Optimizing an historic functional workspace

The Situation Room is a 24/7 meeting place for sensitive information flowing into and out of the White House. Established during the Kennedy Administration, the 5,525-square-foot conference room and intelligence management center in the basement of the West Wing, has undergone periodic architectural and technology upgrades – endeavors challenged by the historic nature of the building.
Over the course of several weeks in 2006, our CTO conducted ethnographic observations of the cognitive work and workflows enabled (and hampered) by the arrangements of functions, roles, and technologies, and supported in-depth interviews of personnel working in the environment.
The findings enabled a gifted team of designers to envision new layouts, furnishings, and constructions to modernize this important workspace.
See pictures!

Westinghouse Electric Company

Ensuring knowledge transfer in a resurging industry

Westinghouse Electric Company is the world's leading supplier of safe, innovative nuclear technology. Following a nearly three-decade dormant period, the nuclear renaissance in the 2000s opened significant opportunities for WEC. But also presented the challenge of transferring the hard-earned expertise of a few to a new workforce of many.
Over the course of a 5-year program, Perigean Technologies implemented our Expertise Management program – eliciting specialized knowledge of scores of the company’s Franchise Experts, preparing products to enable learning for the next-generation, and growing an organic capability to continue the program beyond our tenure.
As our WEC partners reported, the program was able to “ease the technology transfer process of these retiring experts, the groups they work for, and specifically for those who will carry on to become the new experts.”
What we mean by "Franchise Experts"

Veteran User Experience Studies

Enabling human-centered design for the Nation's heroes
(Our partners at VA said this one best...)
“At the VA, customer experience is critical; [VA design teams] use human-centered design to help VA solve its most important Veteran-facing problems. Veterans are a unique user population; as such, adopting an especially inclusive approach to human-centered design is essential.”
“To ensure we can consistently deliver this experience to all of our users, [the VA] has partnered with Perigean Technologies to help identify Veterans, servicemembers, caregivers, and dependents to participate in future Veteran user research sessions.”
"Perigean help us by recruiting, screening, and preparing Veterans for sessions” -- over 3,000 participants in over 500 user experience studies. "Perigean has done a phenomenal job of managing and coordinating many concurrent user research sessions. Perigean has exceeded expectation supporting this growth while continuing to provide excellent service.”
The program



Revolutionizing knowledge assessment

For over 100 years, multiple-choice questions – with their shallow insight and encouragement of rote learning – have become the de facto method for assessing knowledge, mainly because they are efficient. Assessors at all levels have sought a more insightful way to gauge learning.
Through a series of U.S. government grants, our team has developed and evaluated Sero! – the world’s most advance learning assessment system based in concept mapping.
Sero! v.3.0 supports multiple approaches to cmap-based assessment and helps manage the end-to-end assessment process. Sero! has been evaluated at numerous universities – preliminary findings demonstrate true promise for the future of learning assessment. And we’ve been fortunate to receive numerous recognitions for innovation in the learning assessment space.
Try Sero! for free

New York Power Authority

Mitigating the risks of lost knowledge

The NYPA is the largest state public power utility in the United States, operating 16 generating facilities and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines. Like many organizations, NYPA has faced a greying workforce for many years. In 2009, launched a competitive bid to identify a knowledge management approach that could mitigate their risks due to lost knowledge.
Perigean Technologies was the sole selected company to provide consultation to NYPA over the course of a multi-year engagement. The focus of the effort was to enable NYPA to grow Expertise Management capabilities across the organization. We cross-trained over a dozen employees in methods of knowledge elicitation, authoring expertise-rich products and learning experiences, and change management approaches to ensure buy-in across the organization.
Following a successful engagement, NYPA invited Perigean back in 2015 to train a second cadre of expertise managers.
Overview of our approach

Insurgent Methods Training – Network Enhanced Training (IMT-NET)

Designing scenarios with high cognitive fidelity
(We supported our friends from Cognitive Performance Group on this one.)
In counterinsurgency operations, Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) have been responsible for more casualties than any other threat. Warfighters need training products that will enhance the cognitive skills of small ground units, in both today’s and tomorrow’s mission environment.
Our team designed and developed IMT-NET, a Virtual Battlespace 2 module consisting of tutorials, individual scenarios, and a collective free-play mission environment. We helped CPG conduct cognitive task analysis with novice-to-expert performers, analyze the critical elements of cognitive performance, and design the scenarios that drive high cognitive fidelity in IMT-NET.
Through IMT-NET, Warfighters improve their ability to recognize and disrupt insurgent activities.
Learn more

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