Despite the contributions of automation to aviation safety and efficiency, the problems associated with technology-centered rather than human-centered automation are well known: decreased pilot situation awareness, deterioration of manual piloting skills, difficulties pilots experience when trying to jump into the loop when needed, and so forth. We present a prototype architecture for human-automation interaction that reverses their traditional roles: in our design, the automation "looks over the shoulder" of the pilot and jumps into the loop when needed rather than the other way around to prevent aircraft loss-of-control (LoC). The architecture exploits the LoC prevention algorithm proposed by Wilborn and Foster (2004). This quantitative definition uses a set of five two-dimensional envelopes relating to critical flight parameters that account for aircraft flight dynamics, aerodynamics, structural integrity, and flight control use. The LoC algorithm is used to both present the pilot with a graphical cockpit display depicting aircraft state in relation to these safety envelopes in passive mode (i.e., depicting behavior-shaping constraints), and also to compensate for ineffective pilot inputs that would cause aircraft LoC in active mode. The prototype system has been implemented in our flight simulation lab and the details underlying the design will be presented. We conclude by describing the design of an experiment we are using to evaluate this human-automation interaction design concept and its implementation.
& Gregory, I.
(2015). Inverting the Human/Automation Equation to Support Situation Awareness and Prevent Loss of Control. 18th International Symposium on Aviation Psychology, 482-487.