Toward preventing performance decrements associated with mental overload in remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) operations, the current research investigated the feasibility of using physiological measures to assess cognitive workload. Two RPA operators were interviewed to identify factors that impact workload in target tracking missions. Performance, subjective workload, cortical, cardiac and eye data were collected. One cardiac and several eye measures were sensitive to changes in workload as evidenced by performance and subjective workload data. Potential future applications of this research include closed loop systems that employ advanced augmentation strategies, such as adaptive automation. Thus, by identifying physiological measures well suited for monitoring workload a realistic simulation, this research advances the literature toward real-time workload mitigation in RPA field operations.
& Galster, S.
(2015). Physiological Indicators of Workload in a Remotely Piloted Aircraft Simulation. 18th International Symposium on Aviation Psychology, 428-433.