Situational awareness or situation awareness (SA) is the perception of environmental elements and events with respect to time or space, the comprehension of their meaning, and the projection of their future status.[1]

Situation awareness has been recognized as a critical, yet often elusive, foundation for successful decision-making across a broad range of situations, many of which involve the protection of human life and property, including law enforcement, aviation, air traffic control, ship navigation,[2] health care,

[3] emergency response, military command and control operations, self defense,[4] and offshore oil and nuclear power plant management.

[5] Lacking or inadequate situation awareness has been identified as one of the primary factors in accidents attributed to human error.[6]

The formal definition of SA is broken down into three segments: perception of the elements in the environment, comprehension of the situation, and projection of future status.

[7] Three facets of SA have been in focus in research: SA states, SA systems, and SA processes. SA states refers to the actual awareness of the situation. SA systems refers to the distribution of SA in teams and between objects in the environment, and to the exchange of SA between system parts. SA processes refers to the updating of SA states, and what guides the moment-to-moment change of SA.[8]