Information Displays and Crew Configurations for UTM Operations

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


In this paper we discuss how team configuration may influence how information is shared among team members for low-altitude Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) operations. NASA collected and analyzed observation data gathered during a series of field tests for the UAS Traffic Management (UTM) project. The field tests were part of a larger effort aimed at advancing the UTM concept, conducted at six test-sites across the USA. Ground control station (GCS) concepts, flight-crew composition, and crew-size varied within and across test-sites. Flight crews took two strategic approaches to organizing their teams. The first of the two approaches was implemented by one third of the flight crews. These crews integrated the role of UTM operator into the duties of existing crew members, merging the current roles with this new one, keeping the UTM operator collocated with the flight crew. The remaining two thirds implemented a distributed team configuration, where a single UTM operator distributed support across multiple crews. Results from our data collection efforts revealed that UTM operator location influenced whether flight crews used verbal communication versus displays to acquire UTM information.


UTM UAS Teams Situation awareness 



The authors would like to thank our partners from academia and industry for their participation in the UTM project.


  1. 1.
    Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Service Demand 2015–2035 Literature Review & Projections of Future Usage, Cambridge, MA (2013)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Kopardekar, P., Rios, J., Prevot, T., Johnson, M., Jung, J., Robinson, J.E.I.: Unmanned aircraft system traffic management (UTM) concept of operations. Am. Inst. Aeronaut. Astronaut. (2016)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Rios, J., et al.: UTM Data Working Group Demonstration 1 Final Report. Moffett Field, CA (2017)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Johnson, M., et al.: Flight test evaluation of a traffic management concept for unmanned aircraft systems in a rural environment. In: Twelfth USA/Europe Air Traffic Management Research and Development Seminar (ATM2017) (2017)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Salas, E., Dickinson, T.L., Converse, S., Tannenbaum, S.I.: Toward an understanding of team performance and training. In: Swezey, R.W., Salas, E. (eds.) Teams: Their training and performance, pp. 3–29. Ablex, Norwood (1992)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Endsley, M.R., Jones, D.G.: Designing to support SA for multiple and distributed operators. In: Designing for Situation Awareness. 2nd edn., pp. 193–218. Taylor & Francis Group, New York (2012)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Wilson, K.A., Guthrie, J.W., Salas, E., Howse, W.R.: Team process. In: Wise, J.A., Hopkin, D.V., Garland, D.J. (eds.) Handbook of Aviation Human Factors, pp. 9-1–9-17. Taylor & Francis Group (2010)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Martin, L., Wolter, C., Gomez, A., Mercer, J.: TCL2 National Campaign Human Factors Brief, NASA/TM-2018-219901, NASA Ames Research Center, CA (2018)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.NASA Ames Research CenterMoffett FieldUSA
  2. 2.San Jose State University Research FoundationSan JoseUSA

Personalised recommendations