Effects of Shift Work and Sustained Operations: Operator Performance in Remotely Piloted Aircraft (OP-REPAIR)
Final rept. Mar 2005-Jan 2006
HUMAN SYSTEMS WING ( 311TH) BROOKS AFB TX
Pagination or Media Count:
The introduction of unmanned aircraft systems UAS with inhuman endurance has led to operational requirements for extended duty days and varying shift schedules which are likely to reduce operator effectiveness because of fatigue. This study assessed MQ-1 Predator crews involved in rotational shift work during a period of sustained operations. Crews reported decreased mood and quality of life as well as increased fatigue, emotional exhaustion, and burnout. Decrements in mood and cognitive and vigilance performance were observed over the duration of a shift and were prevalent across all shifts and shift rotation schedules. There was a tendency for the adverse effects of shift work to be more pronounced on both day and night relative to evening shift and on rapid versus slow shift rotation schedules. Additionally, crews reported moderate to high levels of task-related boredom. Overall, the environment created by conducting UAS operations using shift work in the context of a sustained contingency operations tempo significantly increased the likelihood of personnel reporting symptoms consistent with Shift Work Sleep Disorder.
- Stress Physiology