Cognitive Workload Analysis of Fighter Aircraft Pilots in Flight Simulator Environment
Maintaining and balancing an optimal level of workload is essential for completing the task productively. Fighter aircraft is one such example, where the pilot is loaded heavily both physically (due to G manoeuvering) and cognitively (handling multiple sensors, perceiving, processing and multi-tasking including communications and handling weapons) to fulfill the combat mission requirements. This cognitive demand needs to be analysed to understand the workload of fighter pilot. Objective of this study is to analyse dynamic workload of fighter pilots in a realistic high-fidelity flight simulator environment during different flying workload conditions. The various workload conditions are (a) normal visibility, (b) low visibility, (c) normal visibility with secondary task, and (d) low visibility with secondary task. Though, pilot’s flying performance score was good, the physiological measure like heart rate variability (HRV) features and subjective assessment (NASA-TLX) components are found to be statistically significant (p<0.05) between tasks. HRV features such as SD2, SDNN, VLF and total power are found to be significant at all task load conditions. The features LFnu and HFnu are able to differentiate the effect of low visibility and secondary cognitive task, which was imposed as increased task in this study. This result benefits to understand the pilot’s task and performance at each flying phase and their cognitive demands during dynamic workload using HRV, which could assist pilot’s training schedule in optimal way on simulators as well as in actual flight conditions.
Wiegmann, D. A. & Shappell, S.A. Human error analysis of commercial aviation accidents: Application of the human factors analysis and classification system (HFACS). Aviation, Space, Environ. Med., 2001, 72, 1006–1016.
Causes of fatal accidents by decade -statistic-http://www.planecrashinfo.com/cause.htm
Kotresh, T.M. & Prasad, A.S.K. Development and evaluation of flame retardant outer garment for anti G suit. Man-Made Textiles India., 1997, 40(5), 206–210.
Borghini, G.; Astolfi, L.; Vecchiato, G. & Mattia, D. Measuring neurophysiological signals in aircraft pilots and car drivers for the assessment of mental workload, fatigue and drowsiness. Neurosci. Biobehavioral Rev., 2014, 44, 58-75. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neubiorev.2012.10.003.
Glenn, F. Wilson. An analysis of mental workload in pilots during flight using multiple psychophysiological measures. Int. J. Aviation Psychol., 2002, 12(1), 3-18. https://doi.org/10.1207/s15327108ijap1201_2.
Charles, L. R. & Jim, N. Measuring mental workload using physiological measures: A systematic review. Applied Ergonomics, 2018, 74, 221-232. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apergo.2018.08.028.
Hart, S.G. & Staveland, E. L. Development of NASA-TLX (Task Load Index): Results of empirical and theoretical research. Advances Psychology, 1988, 52,139-183. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0166-4115(08)62386-9
Nagendra, H.; Kumar, V. & Mukherjee, S. Cognitive behavior evaluation based on physiological parameters among young healthy subjects with yoga as intervention. Computat. Math. Methods Med., 2015, Article ID 821061. https://doi.org/10.1155/2015/821061.
Lahtinen, M.M. T.; Koskelo, P. J.; Laitinen, T. & Leino, K. T. Heart rate and performance during combat missions in a flight simulator. Aviation, Space, Environ. Med., 2007, 78 (4), 387–391.
Mohanavelu, K.; Lamshe, R.; Poonguzhali, S.; Adalarasu, K. & Jagannath, M. Assessment of human fatigue during physical performance using physiological signals: A review. Biomed. Pharmacol. J., 2017, 10(4).
Mehler, B.; Reimer, B. & Wang, Y. A comparison of heart rate and heart rate variability indices in distinguishing single-task driving and driving under secondary cognitive workload. In Proceedings of the Sixth International Driving Symposium on Human Factors in Driver Assessment, Training and Vehicle Design, 2011, 590–597. https://doi.org/10.17077/drivingassessment.1451
Mansikka, HP.; Virtanen, K.; Harris, D. & Simola, P. Fighter pilots’ heart rate, heart rate variation and performance during an instrument flight rules proficiency test. Applied Ergonomics., 2016, 56, 213–219. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apergo.2016.04.006.
Zongmin, W.; Damin, Z.; Xiaoru, W.; Chen, L. & Huan, Z. A model for discrimination and prediction of mental workload of aircraft cockpit display interface. Chinese J. Aeronautics, 2014, 27 (5), 1070–1077. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cja.2014.09.002.
Sharma, S.; Baijal, R. & Sinha, A. Mental work load assessment during different simulated instrument meteorological conditions in clouds and during dark night. Ind. J. Aerospace Med., 2012, 56(1), 11-20.
Jorna, P.G.A.M. Heart rate and workload variations in actual and simulated flight. Journal Ergonomics., 1993, 36(9), 1043–1054. https://doi.org/10.1080/00140139308967976.
Rubio, S.; Diaz, E.; Martin, J. & Puente, M.J. Evaluation of Subjective Mental Workload: A comparison of SWAT, NASA-TLX, and workload profile methods. Applied Psychology: Int. Rev., 2004, 53 (1), 61–86. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1464-0597.2004.00161.x
Pandian, P.S.; Mohanavelu, K.; Safeer, K.P.; Kotresh, T.M.; Shakunthala, D.T.; Gopal, Parvati. & Padaki, V.C. Smart Vest: Wearable multi-parameter remote physiological Monitoring system. Med. Eng. Phy., 2008, 30, 466–477. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.medengphy.2007.05.014.
Jayaraman, S. & Kumar, K. Stress detection of IT professional using one minute ECG record. In 18th International Neuroscience and Biological Psychiatry Conference-Stress and Behavior, At New Orleans, LA, USA, 2012.
Sumitha, M.; Mohanavelu. K.; Singh, S.P. & Ravindran, G. Development of wearable HRV analysis monitor: A tool for critical care. In 2nd National conference on signal processing, communication and VLSI Design, 2010.
Shaffer, F. & Ginsberg, J.P. An overview of heart rate variability metrics and norms. Frontiers Public Health, 2017, 5, Article 258. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2017.00258
Malik, M. Heart rate variability standards of measurement, physiological interpretation, and clinical use. Circulation, 1996, 93. 1043-1065.
Hart, S.G. NASA-Task load index; 20 years later. In Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting, 2006, 50, 904–908. https://doi.org/10.1177/154193120605000909.
where otherwise noted, the Articles on this site are licensed under Creative Commons License: CC Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India