Remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) have evolved rapidly over the past two decades, largely as a result of the manned military and commercial aviation technologies advanced over the past century. The removal of the human pilot from the physical aircraft cockpit has allowed new missions to be flown e.g. high-risk environments, inaccessible locations, emergency response, or long duration search and rescue. However, the human has not been removed from the system. Accident rates have been suggested as being up to ten times higher when compared with traditionally piloted aircraft. Reduced or unavailable sensory cueing presented to remote pilots operating the RPAS, such as real-time visual and auditory feedback from the aircraft, is thought to be a contributing factor. This study will measure the performance of remote pilots under different levels of available sensory cueing and seek to better understand how these factors influence the ability of human operators within the RPA system.
Dr Brett Molesworth