Record Details

Towards an Improved Pilot-Vehicle Interface for Highly Automated Aircraft: Evaluation of the Haptic Flight Control System
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Author and Affiliation:
Schutte, Paul(NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA, United States);
Goodrich, Kenneth(NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA, United States);
Williams, Ralph(Analytical Mechanics Associates, Inc., Hampton, VA, United States)
Abstract: The control automation and interaction paradigm (e.g., manual, autopilot, flight management system) used on virtually all large highly automated aircraft has long been an exemplar of breakdowns in human factors and human-centered design. An alternative paradigm is the Haptic Flight Control System (HFCS) that is part of NASA Langley Research Center s Naturalistic Flight Deck Concept. The HFCS uses only stick and throttle for easily and intuitively controlling the actual flight of the aircraft without losing any of the efficiency and operational benefits of the current paradigm. Initial prototypes of the HFCS are being evaluated and this paper describes one such evaluation. In this evaluation we examined claims regarding improved situation awareness, appropriate workload, graceful degradation, and improved pilot acceptance. Twenty-four instrument-rated pilots were instructed to plan and fly four different flights in a fictitious airspace using a moderate fidelity desktop simulation. Three different flight control paradigms were tested: Manual control, Full Automation control, and a simplified version of the HFCS. Dependent variables included both subjective (questionnaire) and objective (SAGAT) measures of situation awareness, workload (NASA-TLX), secondary task performance, time to recognize automation failures, and pilot preference (questionnaire). The results showed a statistically significant advantage for the HFCS in a number of measures. Results that were not statistically significant still favored the HFCS. The results suggest that the HFCS does offer an attractive and viable alternative to the tactical components of today s FMS/autopilot control system. The paper describes further studies that are planned to continue to evaluate the HFCS.
Publication Date: Jul 20, 2012
Document ID:
20120013045
(Acquired Aug 21, 2012)
Subject Category: AVIONICS AND AIRCRAFT INSTRUMENTATION
Report/Patent Number: NF1676L-13661
Document Type: Conference Paper
Meeting Information: 4th AHFE International Conference on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics 2012; 20-25 Jul. 2012; San Francisco, CA; United States
Contract/Grant/Task Num: WBS 284848.02.03.07.02
Financial Sponsor: NASA Langley Research Center; Hampton, VA, United States
Organization Source: NASA Langley Research Center; Hampton, VA, United States
Description: 10p; In English; Original contains color illustrations
Distribution Limits: Unclassified; Publicly available; Unlimited
Rights: Copyright; Distribution as joint owner in the copyright
NASA Terms: AUTOMATIC CONTROL; AUTOMATIC PILOTS; FLIGHT CONTROL; FLIGHT MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS; HUMAN FACTORS ENGINEERING; MANUAL CONTROL; AIRSPACE; WORKLOADS (PSYCHOPHYSIOLOGY); HUMAN PERFORMANCE
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