Navy asks for industry's help to establish effective screening and training for UAV pilots

ARLINGTON, Va., 9 Aug. 2012. The U.S. Navy needs better ways to choose, train, and equip unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) pilots, and is reaching out to industry for new technological approaches to do this -- particularly for medium-to-large UAVs like the AAI RQ-7 Shadow, the Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) UAV, the Northrop Grumman MQ-8 Fire Scout unmanned helicopter, and future unmanned carrier-launched airborne surveillance and strike (UCLASS) aircraft.

The Office of Naval Research issued a broad agency announcement (ONR BAA 12-011) in late July for the Unmanned Aerial Systems Interface, Selection, and Training Technologies (UASISTT) program to improve UAV control station interfaces, training technologies or selection tools.

Today's UAV control stations are not easy for UAV pilots to use, ONR researchers say, pointing out that despite advances in UAV capabilities in previous years, as many as 50 percent of today's UAV accidents are the fault of human operators. This problem, moreover, is only likely to get worse.

The Navy and Marine Corps are increasing their UAV purchases significantly, and these unmanned aircraft are complex. They blend automation with dynamic, decentralized control for a wide range of missions, often different from traditional manned aircraft missions.

The UASISTT program seeks to help the Navy and other U.S. military UAV operators develop a new kind of UAV pilot who has been chosen, trained, and equipped to process information effectively; work with cutting-edge technologies; work together with other UAV pilots; and manage the UAV operational workload on long missions.

Evidently military officials are finding that traditional manned aircraft pilot training and proficiency with complex video games are simply not enough to prepare tomorrow's UAV pilots. "Today, simply replicating the manned aviation select-train-equip approach is an inefficient solution at best and a potentially disastrous one at worst," Navy researchers say in the solicitation.

Researchers are finding that today's UAV operators must have skills more akin to the air traffic controller than to the manned aircraft pilot. UAV operators work in sensory-deprived conditions without the sights, sounds, and feel of manned aviation.

Instead, as automation technology advances, the role of the UAV operator will continue shifting towards mission management of several different UAVs, with demands for far more decision making, course of action planning, collaborative planning, and resource management than for stick-and-rudder piloting skills.

The ONR UASISTT program focuses on three technical areas: selecting UAV operators by forecasting candidate performance across UAVs and missions; designing realistic UAV operator simulation and training; and UAV control station human-machine interfaces.

ONR will conduct industry day briefings for the UASISTT program in Arlington, Va., on 17 Aug. Register by e-mail to the Navy's Brigid Jacobs at brigid.jacobs.ctr@navy.mil

Companies interested in bidding on the UASISTT program should submit white papers by 10 Sept. 2012, give full-proposal oral presentations on 5 to 9 Nov. 2012, and submit full proposals by 7 Dec. 2012.

For questions or concerns, contact the Navy's Russelle Dunson by phone at 703-696-8375 or by e-mail at russelle.dunson@navy.mil, or Joseph Cohn by phone at 703-696-2580 or by e-mail at Joseph.Cohn@navy.mil.

More information is online at https://www.fbo.gov/spg/DON/ONR/ONR/ONRBAA12-011/listing.html.

Follow Military & Aerospace Electronics and Avionics Intelligence news updates on Twitter

Easily post a comment below using your Linkedin, Twitter, Google or Facebook account.


The Innovation That Matters™ Quiz

Innovation is one of the key drivers in the Defense industry. View this short video of Leon Woo, VP of Engineering at Mercury Systems, on the role of innovation. Then, answer 3 simple questions correctly to be entered into a drawing to win an Eddie Bauer fleece jacket!

CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR TWO MOST RECENT WINNERS. "Nick from SPARWAR" and "Bridget from AOC."


Related Products

RR2P Removable Canister RAID System

Transportable data storage for mobile field use aboard planes, ships and ground transport. 2U, du...

Sensors Unlimited GA1280JSX High Resolution, Mil-Rugged, Extended High Sensitivity InGaAs SWIR Camera

Manufactures a high resolution, mil-rugged, extended high-sensitivity 0.9 Mpixel InGaAs SWIR came...

M1U20xx 1U Military-Grade Computer System

The M1U20xx Military-Grade Rack Mount System is a reliable high-performance mil-spec 1U solution ...

Related Companies

Winchester Systems Inc

At its founding in 1981, Winchester Systems introduced its first 5 MB disk system for Intel development system users....

Extreme Engineering Solutions Inc (X-ES)

 Extreme Engineering Solutions, Inc. (X-ES) is a leader in the design, manufacture, and support of standard and ...

American Infrared Solutions (AIRS)

Wire News provided by   

Most Popular Articles

Webcasts

Digital signal processing for signals intelligence and electronic warfare

Military & Aerospace Electronics presents an expert Webcast on the latest hardware and software trends for high-performance embedded computing (HPEC) applications in demanding military signals intelligen...
Sponsored by:

Advantages of Intel Architecture Products and Wind River Solutions in Military & Aerospace Applications

This webinar explains the individual advantages of the Intel Architecture hardware, available for long-life supply, and the WRS software portfolio.  There are extraordinary advantages of combining such ...
Sponsored by:

Engineering the VPX high-speed data path for physical and signal integrity

Join Arrow Electronics and TE Connectivity, for an overview webinar of the standards, technologies and trends involving VITA and TE.

social activity

All Access Sponsors


Mil & Aero Magazine

February 2014
Volume 25, Issue 2
file

Download Our Apps



iPhone

iPad

Android

Follow Us On...



Newsletters

Military & Aerospace Electronics

Weekly newsletter covering technical content, breaking news and product information
SUBSCRIBE

Defense Executive

Monthly newsletter covering business news and strategic insights for executive managers
SUBSCRIBE

Embedded Computing Report

Monthly newsletter covering news on embedded computing in aerospace, defense and industrial-rugged applications
SUBSCRIBE

Unmanned Vehicles

Monthly newsletter covering news updates for designers of unmanned vehicles
SUBSCRIBE