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Usability Evaluation of Fleet Management Interface for High Density Vertiplex Environments  (2022)
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To meet the rising demand for an Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) (i.e. urban and rural unmanned aircraft systems) ecosystem, the NASA Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD) is hosting a series of simulations and flight tests under the High Density Vertiplex sub-project (HDV) to prototype and study the effectiveness AAM capabilities under various operational contexts. HDV aims to develop an integrated automation architecture to support terminal area flight operations. The HDV simulations and flight tests address safety, integration, and operational challenges, while integrated systems and software demonstrate design readiness, robustness, and interoperability. During the initial HDV simulation in 2021, a prototype traffic management tool developed by NASA called the Fleet Management Interface (FMI) was tested. FMI was designed to introduce an advanced level of human-automation interaction to aid both Ground control systems operators (GCSOs) and fleet managers (FMs) in remotely managing flights under their ownership. In a human-in-the-loop simulation, a usability study was conducted with the FMI to identify optimal approaches for displaying information to human operators using subjective measures of usability, workload, situation awareness, risk, and user experience, along with qualitative feedback. This study consisted of task analysis in which GCSO and FM subjects used an Urban Air Mobility (UAM) environment to develop and execute a plan for two different traffic scenarios of remotely controlled vehicles. In each scenario, a remotely controlled vehicle completed a takeoff, active flight, and landing sequence while simulated traffic flew in the background at a rate of 20 operations per hour. In the first scenario, the controlled vehicle flew a nominal route with takeoff and landing at the same vertiport. In the second scenario, the controlled vehicle started on the nominal route, then diverted to an unplanned location mid-flight. Results showed that self-reported performance, usability, and situation awareness ratings of FMI were moderately high and perceived risk was low. Furthermore, participants described improvements that could be made to create a better user experience. For example, users suggested having the ability to review routes before assigning them, and adding more detail to operation state messages. The results from this study will inform future development of the FMI with the end goal of creating a reference automation tool for airspace management procedures in AAM. The FMI could serve to reduce dependency on traditional air navigation services through increased automation in high density vertiplex environments.
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AAM, advanced, air, air, density, fleet, HDV, high, manager, mobility, mobility, UAM, urban, vertiplex
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In 41st IEEE/AIAA Digital Avionics Systems Conference (DASC)
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Adobe PDF Icon  ASI_HF_DASC2022_Final.pdf (Download Acrobat Reader Click to download Adobe Acrabat Reader)
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Curator: Phil So
NASA Official: Joey Mercer
Last Updated: August 15, 2019