Archive for category MOMU

Tools and Techniques to support operators in MOMU (Multiple Operator Multiple UAV) environments

The ‘RICH’ (Rapid Immersion tools/techniques for Coordination and Hand-offs) research project is a US-Israel collaboration. The project aims to research, design and develop tools, techniques and procedures to aid operators in MOMU environments; to facilitate task switching and/or coordinate with other operators all for the benefit of improving overall mission performance.The Israeli partners on this task are Jacob Silbiger from Synergy Integration, Lt. Col. Michal Rottem-Hovev from the IAF, and Drs. Tal Oron-Gilad and Talya Porat from the Dept. of Industrial Engineering and Management. The US parents are Jay Shively, Lisa Fern (Human Systems Integration Group Leader, Aeroflightdynamics Directorate, US Army Research Development and Engineering Command (AMRDEC)), and Dr. Mark Draper (USAFRL). RICH is part of the US/Israel MOA (mutual operation agreement) on Rotorcraft Aeromechanics & Man/Machine Integration Technology.

Here I describe in brief the goals of the Israeli team and some of the tools developed.

Motivation: Multiple operators controlling multiple unmanned aerial vehicles (MOMU) can be an efficient operational setup for reconnaissance and surveillance missions. However, it dictates switching and coordination among operators. Efficient switching is time-critical and cognitively demanding, thus vitally affecting mission accomplishment. As such, tools and techniques (T&Ts) to facilitate switching and coordination among operators are required. Furthermore, development of metrics and test-scenarios becomes essential to evaluate, refine, and adjust T&Ts to the specifics of the operational environment.

Tools: Tools can be divided into two categories: 1) tools that facilitate ‘quick setup’, i.e., aimed to ease the way of the operator into a new mission or area of operation; and 2) tools that facilitate on-going missions where acquiring new UAVs, delegating, or switching is necessary to complete the tasks at hand. The Israeli team focused primarily on tools of the second type. Some “successful” tools have been the Castling rays (see CHI paper for detail), the TIE/coupling tool, and the Maintain coverage area.

Several outcomes of this effort have been presented and appear in the following conference proceedings.

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Switch and Deliver: Display Layouts for MOMV (Multiple Operator Multiple Video feed) Environments

‘Switch and Deliver’ is a research project directed to design and develop tools/techniques and procedures to aid operators in handling Multiple Operator Multiple UAV (unmanned aerial vehicles) environments. It aims to identify what information and which tools and layouts will decrease switch-costs and improve overall mission performance. Nevertheless, most tools/techniques can be generalized to any Multiple Operator Multiple Video feed (MOMV) environments, where control of multiple video sources, task switching and/or coordination with other operators are necessary for mission success. In a paper , to be presented shortly in COGSIMA 2011, we describe a study conducted on proficient operators, examining three display layouts.where we examined how the operating interface facilitates handoffs and video feed switching among operators.

Here are examples of the Layouts we have been examining:

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  • In the Baseline layout (far left), contains  four equal sized windows: three windows show 3 different video feeds, and one window shows the C2 map. The payloads which were controlled by the user had an icon of a person on the top left side of the video.
  • In the Adaptive layout (center) window sizes change automatically according to user’s operations (i.e., time spent on window and performing operations in the window). Thus, in any defined time, the window that was most ‘active’ was larger than the other three windows.
  • In the User Controlled layout (right) , window sizes changes as well, except not automatically.  The user selected which window to enlarge. Thus, the large window was the one the user selected to enlarge.

Success rate, detection times, payload ‘energy’ (i.e., how much movement was done by the payload)  and Subjective evaluations and workload of the very experienced operators that participated in this study raised some interesting issues regarding fixed versus adaptive window size in MOMV environments.

  • This  study is only one of the many studies performed in the framework of this research project. The necessity and importance of tools in reducing operators’ workload and improving mission performance was again reinforced.   In  future studies, we plan to further explore the interactions that emerged.

Presentation title: Switch and Deliver: Display Layouts for MOMV (Multiple Operator Multiple Video feed)Environments.

Talya Porat (Ben-Gurion University, Israel)
Tal Oron-Gilad (Ben-Gurion University, Israel)
Jacob Silbiger (Synergy Integration Ltd., Israel)
Michal Rottem-Hovev (Israel Air Force, Israel)



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