Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) operations are shifting from multiple operators controlling a single-UAS to a single operator supervising multiple-UAS engaged in complex mission sets. To enable this, there is wide consensus in literature that limitations in human cognitive capacity require shifting low-level control responsibilities to automation so that human operators can focus on supervisory control. However, hazard analyses to identify related safety concerns have largely been unexplored. To address this shortfall, this paper applies System-Theoretic Process Analysis (STPA) on an abstracted model of a multi-UAS system. This hazard analysis approach handles complex systems and human-machine control interactions together. The paper describes both how to execute the analysis, and provides examples related to an operator approving or denying plans developed by the automation. Numerous traceable causal scenarios are systematically identified and generate both design recommendations and questions that must be addressed to ensure the system is designed to be safe.
Johnson, E. B.,
Kopeikin, A. N.,
Leveson, N. G.,
& Drysdale, A. W.
(2021). Hazard Analysis for Human Supervisory Control of Multiple Unmanned Aircraft Systems. 56th International Symposium on Aviation Psychology, 274-279.