Establishing a Variable Automation Paradigm for UAV-Based Reconnaissance in Manned-Unmanned Teaming Missions

Experimental Evaluation and Results
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 784)


This work addresses the factor of degraded automation reliability of machine based aerial reconnaissance in a manned-unmanned teaming approach. An army transport helicopter is accompanied by three unmanned aerial vehicles for reconnaissance purposes, guided by the helicopters crew. Automated capabilities onboard the UAVs offer high automated, task-based guidance as well as manual operation. We designed and implemented an assistance system in our helicopter flight simulator, that supports the commander in gaining relevant reconnaissance information on flight routes for the helicopter to follow. Due to imperfection in automated reconnaissance performed by machine algorithms, we explicitly regarded the aspect of degrading reliability by utilizing the paradigm of “Levels of Automation”. The automation system produces reconnaissance results, thereby considering differing automation reliability. Several data representation modes were applied to display preprocessed results in the helicopters multi-function displays. We conducted an extensive human-in-the-loop campaign with army helicopter crews in full mission scenarios, in which system-triggered changes between the automation levels occurred and the cooperative human-machine relationship changed online. This paper presents questionnaire-gathered results of our investigation during mission execution, shedding light on human factors, user acceptance and system design aspects.


MUM-T Multi-UAV Levels of automation Adaptive automation Automation reliability Automation trustworthiness Assistance system Human factors Mental workload Trust in automation Human-in-the-loop experiment 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Flight Systems (IFS)University of the Bundeswehr Munich (UniBwM)NeubibergGermany

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