Accession Number:

ADA478335

Title:

Human-Automation Collaboration: Support for Lunar and Planetary Exploration

Descriptive Note:

Doctoral thesis

Corporate Author:

MASSACHUSETTS INST OF TECH CAMBRIDGE DEPT OF AERONAUTICS AND ASTRONAUTICS

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2007-02-01

Pagination or Media Count:

227.0

Abstract:

Balancing task allocation between humans and computers is crucial to the development of effective decision support systems. This thesis investigates the appropriate balance between humans and automation for geospatial path problem solving within the high-risk domain of human planetary surface exploration, where decisions are time critical and humans must adapt to uncertainty. In order to develop flexible and robust decision support systems for Lunar and planetary exploration, human-automation role allocations are examined to understand how humans conduct complex optimizations under different degrees of automated assistance. A work domain analysis of human planetary extravehicular activities EVA resulted in a framework for human-robotic planning, including key input variables, constraints, and outputs. Based on this analysis, a prototype path planning aid was developed. Under investigation was the use of partial automatic path generation and a visualization called levels of equal cost LOEC, an aggregate cost map. Human-in-the-loop testing was employed to understand the effects of the automated assistance and different visualizations on path planning performance across multivariate cost functions. In two separate experiments, participants were tasked to make obstacle-free, least-costly paths based on given cost functions. Analysis of the experimental results indicated that knowledge-based reasoning is best supported when operators conduct manual sensitivity analysis, a strategy that was absent when path generation was allocated to automation. Leveraging computer-generated paths resulted in overall better path performance but also led to automation bias and decreased situation awareness. With respect to visualizations, participants using elevation contours had lower cost paths and short task times when automation was reliable. However, the LOEC visualization helped participants initially create least-costly paths for the most complex cost function.

Subject Categories:

  • Operations Research
  • Cybernetics
  • Astronautics
  • Human Factors Engineering and Man Machine Systems

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE