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Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration into the National Airspace System Visual-Line-of-Sight Human-in-the-Loop ExperimentAs part of the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) in the National Airspace System (NAS) project, research on integrating small UAS (sUAS) into the NAS was underway by a human-systems integration (HSI) team at the NASA Langley Research Center. Minimal to no research has been conducted on the safe, effective, and efficient manner in which to integrate these aircraft into the NAS. sUAS are defined as aircraft weighing 55 pounds or less. The objective of this human system integration team was to build a UAS Ground Control Station (GCS) and to develop a research test-bed and database that provides data, proof of concept, and human factors guidelines for GCS operations in the NAS. The objectives of this experiment were to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of flying sUAS in Class D and Class G airspace utilizing manual control inputs and voice radio communications between the pilot, mission control, and air traffic control. The design of the experiment included three sets of GCS display configurations, in addition to a hand-held control unit. The three different display configurations were VLOS, VLOS + Primary Flight Display (PFD), and VLOS + PFD + Moving Map (Map). Test subject pilots had better situation awareness of their vehicle position, altitude, airspeed, location over the ground, and mission track using the Map display configuration. This configuration allowed the pilots to complete the mission objectives with less workload, at the expense of having better situation awareness of other aircraft. The subjects were better able to see other aircraft when using the VLOS display configuration. However, their mission performance, as well as their ability to aviate and navigate, was reduced compared to runs that included the PFD and Map displays.
Document ID
Document Type
Technical Publication (TP)
Trujillo, Anna C.
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Ghatas, Rania W.
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Mcadaragh, Raymon
(Stinger Ghaffarian Technologies, Inc. (SGT, Inc.) Hampton, VA, United States)
Burdette, Daniel W.
(Northrop Grumman Corp. Hampton, VA, United States)
Comstock, James R.
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Hempley, Lucas E.
(Northrop Grumman Corp. Hampton, VA, United States)
Fan, Hui
(Analytical Mechanics Associates, Inc. Hampton, VA, United States)
Date Acquired
March 11, 2015
Publication Date
February 1, 2015
Subject Category
Man/System Technology And Life Support
Aircraft Design, Testing And Performance
Report/Patent Number
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 425425.
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
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