August 1, 2011.
One of the pilot-machine interfaces (the forward viewing camera display) for an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle called the DROID (Dryden Remotely Operated Integrated Drone) will be analyzed for optimization. The goal is to create a visual display for the pilot that as closely resembles an out-the-window view as possible. There are currently no standard guidlines for designing pilot-machine interfaces for UAVs. Typically, UAV camera views have a narrow field, which limits the situational awareness (SA) of the pilot. Also, at this time, pilot-UAV interfaces often use displays that have a diagonal length of about 20". Using a small display may result in a distorted and disproportional view for UAV pilots. Making use a larger display and camera lens with a larger field of view may minimize the occurrences of pilot error associated with the inability to see "out the window" as in a manned airplane. It is predicted that the pilot will have a less distorted view of the DROID's surroundings, quicker response times and more stable vehicle control. If the experimental results validate this concept, other UAV pilot-machine interfaces will be improved with this design methodology.
NASA Armstrong (Formerly Dryden) Flight Research Center
This material is based upon work supported by the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation and by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0952013. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation or the National Science Foundation.