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Improving Collaboration in Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Operations

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Improving Collaboration in Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Operations March 27, 2007 Stacey D. Scott Humans & Automation Lab MIT Aeronautics and Astronautics – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Improving Collaboration in Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Operations


1
Improving Collaboration in Unmanned Aerial
Vehicle Operations
March 27, 2007 Stacey D. Scott Humans
Automation Lab MIT Aeronautics and
Astronautics http//halab.mit.edu
2
Teamwork in Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)
Operations
Intelligence Consumers (e.g., Ground Troops)
UAV Operators
Lawyers Politicians
Ground Crew
3
Supporting Futuristic UAV Teams Engaged in
Time-Critical Operations
Future UAV Teams
4
Current Collaboration Tools Insufficient for
Time-Critical Operations
  • Increasing reliance on collaboration tools
  • e.g., email, instant messaging (chat)
  • These tools introduce communication overhead,
    hindering management of tasking team
    coordination (Scott et al., 2006)
  • Trend in corporate and educational collaboration
    systems towards intelligently sharing activity
    information to improve planning coordination in
    networked teams
  • Activity awareness design approach (Carroll et
    al., 2006)
  • Promoting activity awareness in UAV operator
    interfaces may
  • help UAV teams coordinate their actions
  • reduce the costs of obtaining activity-related
    information

5
Research Goals Supporting Activity Awareness in
Collaborative UAV Operations
  • To develop and evaluate activity awareness tools
    for future teams of UAV operators engaged in time
    critical missions
  • To investigate the software automation and
    interface requirements of UAV operations team
    members
  • what type of information is useful to know about
    ones team members and their task activities?
  • what information do team members need to know
    about the UAVs activities?
  • how does ones job duties / team role impact
    activity awareness requirements (e.g. mission
    commander, UAV operator, etc.)?

6
Initial Research Focus
Future UAV Teams
Technological Support for the Team Supervisor
7
Assisting Team Supervisors of UAV Teams
  • Research Approach
  • Develop representative collaborative,
    time-critical C2 task scenario
  • Conduct cognitive task analysis (CTA) to generate
    system requirements for supervisory decision
    support and activity awareness displays
  • Develop supervisory displays in a simulated task
    environment
  • Conduct exploratory experiment

8
Representative Collaborative UAV Task Scenario
  • Ground Force Protection
  • Futuristic UAV Operations Team performing ISR in
    support of a time-sensitive targeting for a
    ground convoy traversing a hostile region
  • Task Details
  • UAV Operations Team
  • 1 Mission Commander
  • 3 UAV operators, each controlling multiple
    semi-autonomous UAVs
  • UAVs have camera sensors only
  • Team must coordinate with external strike team
  • UAV team can communicate with convoy external
    intelligence sources

9
Generating Requirements for Assisting Supervision
  • Hybrid Cognitive Task Analysis (Nehme et al.,
    2006)

Step 1 Scenario Task Overview
Step 2 Event Flow Diagram
Step 3 Situation Awareness (SA) Requirements
Produces Functional Information Requirements
Step 4 Decision Ladders Display Requirements
10
Supervisory Displays Simulated Task Environment
Large-Screen Wall Displays
Situation Map Display
Mission Status Display
Simulation Collaboration Server (Grouplab
SharedDictionary)
TabletPC Display
Mission Commander Display
11
Designing to Promote Activity Awareness
  • UAV status tasking
  • Current expected convoy safety
  • Current expected operator task performance,
    relative to convoy safety

1
(reviewing ATR imagery)
4
(nominal)
Situation Map Display
8
(down)
Mission Status Display
12
Designing to Promote Activity Awareness
  • UAV status tasking
  • Current expected convoy safety
  • Current expected operator task performance,
    relative to convoy safety

Situation Map Display
Potential threat envelope
Target strike indicators
Known threat envelope
Mission Status Display
13
Designing to Promote Activity Awareness
  • UAV status tasking
  • Current expected convoy safety
  • Current expected operator task performance,
    relative to convoy safety

Situation Map Display
Mission Status Display
14
Exploratory Study
  • Subjects 8 participants (including 6 NROTC)
  • Protocol
  • 1 subject 3 confederates per experiment
  • 2 hrs training 2 x 15 min trials
  • Retrospective interview

Situation Map Display
Mission Status Display
1 Subject as mCdr
3 Confederates as UAV Operators
15
Some Preliminary Results
  • Convoy threat summary intuitive, useful for
    timing command decisions
  • Particularly, visualizing relationship between
    strike team activity and convoys progress
  • UAV status tasking useful for deciding when to
    assist UAV operators
  • However, lack of time-on-task cues required
    mental effort
  • Operator performance displays rarely used, since
    surveillance progress was easily obtained from
    the Map

4
1
8
(nominal)
(down)
(reviewing ATR imagery)
16
Ongoing Work Test-bed for Exploring Other
Collaborative TST Issues
UAV Operations Team
1. Interruption recovery tools for the team
supervisor
17
Ongoing Work Test-bed for Exploring Other
Collaborative TST Issues
2. Activity awareness interfaces for the UAV
operators 3. New methods for deriving
collaborative system requirements
UAV Operations Team
1. Interruption recovery tools for the team
supervisor
18
Expanded Simulated Task Environment
Large-Screen Wall Displays
Situation Map Display
Mission Status Display
Remote Assistance Display
Simulation Collaboration Server (GroupLab
SharedDictionary)
Mission Commander Display (TabletPC)
19
Interruption Recovery Assistance for Team
Supervisor
Interactive event timeline, containing event
bookmarks
Mission Commander Display (TabletPC)
20
Interruption Recovery Assistance for Team
Supervisor (contd)
Clicking on an event bookmark highlights the
location of the corresponding event on the map
display, e.g., a convoy attack
21
Preliminary UAV Operator Display Designs
Communications Display
Map Display
Tasking Display TargetID rerouting,
reassigning UAVs
22
Improved Methodology for Deriving Collaborative
System Requirements
  • Project Goal
  • To develop techniques to identify dependencies in
    operator decision making to understand how to
    assist coordination of team member tasking

23
Future Work Team Performance Prediction
  • Behavioral pattern detection and performance
    predictions
  • Predictive algorithms (NN, HMM, Hybrid)
  • Alert team supervising agent of sub-optimal
    cognitive strategies
  • Stress time pressure
  • Rapidly evolving situation

Excessive workload
24
Future Work Team Performance Prediction
  • Behavioral pattern detection and performance
    predictions
  • Predictive algorithms (NN, HMM, Hybrid)
  • Alert team supervising agent of sub-optimal
    cognitive strategies
  • Stress time pressure
  • Rapidly evolving situation

Excessive workload
25
Conclusions
  • Initial activity awareness designs show potential
    for facilitating supervisory-level decision
    making, and supporting teamwork in general
  • Particularly, designs aimed at conveying current
    expected status of interdependent activities
  • Activity awareness approach (i.e. intelligent
    sharing of activity data) appears to be an
    appropriate design technique for large-screen
    displays in time-critical C2 environments
  • Further work is needed to understand what
    activity information should be shared (and at
    what level of detail) during different UAV
    mission types and mission phases

26
Contact and Sponsor Information
  • Contacts
  • Dr. Stacey Scott, sdscott_at_mit.edu
  • Prof. Mary (Missy) Cummings, missyc_at_mit.edu
  • Humans and Automation Lab (HAL) website
    http//halab.mit.edu
  • Thanks to project sponsor
  • Boeing Phantom Works
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