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Experimentally derived data was extrapolated to compare the lunar landing performance of human pilots to that of an automated landing system. The results of this investigation are presented. Overall, the pilots performed equal to or better than the automated system in 18% of the relevant cases, but required more fuel. Pilot site selections were further investigated as a function of the time to complete. Each hypothetical case was compared to the automated system, across a range of performance criteria weighting distributions. This performance criteria is threefold - proximity to point of interest, safety of the site, and fuel consumed. In general, the pilots perform better than the automated system in terms of safety and proximity to points of interest criteria. However, as the priority of fuel conservation increases, the tradeoff between using an autonomous landing system versus a human-in-command system favors the automation, especially if the pilot is not able to make the proper decision within a performance criteria specific threshold.
Aerospace Conference, 2010 IEEE
Date of Conference: 6-13 March 2010