Integration of Cognitive Task Analysis and Design Thinking for Autonomous Helicopter Displays

Ensuring that unmanned aerial systems’ (UAS) control stations include a tight coupling of systems engineering with human factors, cognitive analysis, and design is key to their success. The authors describe a combined cognitive task analysis (CTA) and design thinking effort to develop interfaces for an operator controlling an autonomous helicopter, a prototype system that the Office of Naval Research is developing. They first conducted CTA interviews with subject-matter experts having expertise in UAS flight operations, helicopter resupply, military ground forces, and marine airspace control. Data informed the development of analysis products, including human–system interface requirements, which drove the creation of design concepts through ideation sessions using design thinking methods. The authors validated and refined the design concepts with UAS pilots. They provide an overview of their process, illustrated by details of a timeline display development. Significant aspects of their work include close integration of CTA and design thinking efforts, designing for an “envisioned world” of interaction with highly autonomous helicopter systems, and the importance of knowledge elicitation early in system design. This effort represents a successful demonstration of an innovative design process in developing UAS interfaces.


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  • Accession Number: 01597319
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Mar 1 2016 9:23AM