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Effects of an achievability display during simulated lunar landings

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5 Author(s)
Alexander J. Stimpson ; The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, Inc., Mission Systems Division, 555 Technology Square, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA ; Torin K. Clark ; Laurence R. Young ; Kevin R. Duda
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Landing on the moon requires the selection and identification of a location that is level and free of hazards, along with a stable, controlled descent to the lunar surface through the use of automated systems and manual control. The pilot workload associated with both selecting a suitable landing point (LP) and monitoring vehicle state is a concern for future lunar or planetary landings. A novel achievability contour display element was developed to show the current achievable limit of the vehicle. A subject experiment was conducted in a lunar landing simulation environment to test the effects of the achievability contour on pilot performance, situation awareness, and workload in simulated approach and terminal descent scenarios as compared to an Apollo-style auditory display. Two control modes were used: supervisory control and roll, pitch, and yaw rate-control/attitude-hold (RCAH) manual control. The experiment also investigated differences in display effect with and without a required redesignation. Results of the subject experiment (n = 10) indicate that the achievability contour display showed significant improvement in subjective situation awareness and workload ratings. The results also indicate changes in the landing point selection process with the use of the achievability contours. There was no measurable difference in flight and landing performance measures between the two display conditions. The results of the experiment have shown that providing the achievability contour display has beneficial effects on pilot situation awareness and workload during the final approach and terminal descent maneuvers. Additional research is needed to determine the optimal implementation and pilot interaction methods in the use of this display.

Published in:

Aerospace Conference, 2011 IEEE

Date of Conference:

5-12 March 2011