Auditory Decision Aiding in Supervisory Control of Multiple Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

A predominantly visual display, supported with discrete auditory alerts, currently is used in supervisory control of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Sonifications (continuous auditory alerts mapped to the state of the monitored tasks) have been shown to enhance monitoring performance in other domains and offer a potential alternative to discrete alerts in UAV control. This study investigates the effectiveness of sonifications in supporting UAV supervisory control. An experiment using a simulated setup was conducted with 39 military personnel. Participants controlled single and multiple UAVs and received sonifications or discrete alerts based on UAV course deviations and late target arrivals. Regardless of the number of UAVs supervised, the course deviation sonification resulted in reactions to course deviations that were 1.9 s faster--a 19% enhancement--compared with discrete alerts. However, course deviation sonifications interfered with the effectiveness of discrete late arrival alerts in general and with operator responses to late arrivals when supervising multiple vehicles. These findings indicate that although sonifications can outperform discrete alerts when designed to aid operators to predict future states of monitored tasks, they may mask other auditory alerts and interfere with monitoring tasks that require divided attention.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 718-729
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01150816
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Feb 12 2010 9:29PM