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Impact of Task Load and Gaze on Situation Awareness in Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Control

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Conference Paper

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Naval Research Laboratory Washington United States

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Increasing levels of automation and rising costs of manpower are pushing the DoD towards a supervisory control paradigm for future unmanned aerial vehicle UAV missions. Using the Supervisory Control Operations User Testbed, a group of 20 participants completed two twenty minute supervisory control missions where eye tracking and performance data were collected. Each mission had 3 levels of task load which were manipulated by varying the frequency of events to which the user responded. During each level, the simulation paused and a situation awareness SA probe appeared with all UAVs and targets randomly placed on the map. Participants were tasked to reconstruct the map. Results showed higher load was associated with a significant decrease in SA. Additionally, participants spent significantly less time looking at the map when the task load was high. These results suggest that eye gaze may be a useful predictor of SA within a supervisory control task.

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  • Pilotless Aircraft

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