Impact of UAS with Low Size, Weight, and Power Sensors on Air Traffic Controllers’ Performance and Acceptability Ratings

A human-in-the-loop simulation was conducted to evaluate the impact of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) with low size, weight, and power (SWaP) sensors operating in a busy, low-altitude sector. Use of low SWaP sensors allow for UAS to perform detect-and-avoid (DAA) maneuvers against non-transponding traffic in the sector. Depending upon the detection range of the low SWaP sensor, the UAS pilot may or may not have time to coordinate with air traffic controllers (ATCos) prior to performing the DAA maneuver. ATCo’s sector performance and subjective ratings of acceptability were obtained in four conditions that varied in UAS-ATCo coordination (all or none) prior to the DAA maneuver and workload (higher or lower). For performance, ATCos committed more losses of separation in high than low workload conditions. They also had to make more flight plan changes to manage the UAS when the UAS pilot did not coordinate DAA maneuvers compared to when they did coordinate the maneuvers prior to execution. Although the ATCos found the DAA procedures used by the UAS in the study to be acceptable, most preferred the UAS pilot to coordinate their DAA maneuvers with ATCos prior to executing them.

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    • © 2020 by Human Factors and Ergonomics Society.
  • Authors:
    • Vu, Kim-Phuong L
    • VanLuven, Jonathan
    • Diep, Timothy
    • Battiste, Vernol
    • Brandt, Summer
    • Monk, Kevin J
    • Rorie, Robert C
    • Shively, Robert J
    • Strybel, Thomas Z
  • Publication Date: 2020-12


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01767923
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Feb 10 2021 3:10PM