Aviation and Defence

AIDL's projects in the Defence and Aviation domains are described below. 

Last Updated: April 22, 2014

Psychophysiological Technologies to Support Multimodal UAV Interface Design

Duration: May 2010 - December 2010

In order to improve operational effectiveness for the Canadian Forces (CF), the Joint Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Surveillance Target Acquisition System (JUSTAS) project is acquiring a medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE) uninhabited aerial vehicle (UAV). In support of the JUSTAS project, Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) – Toronto in association with the Advanced Interface Design Lab at the University of Waterloo, are investigating strategies for managing massive information exchange among UAV operators. One strategy to is to develop intelligent adaptive interfaces (IAI) that dynamically manage information display and control characteristics based on operator mental state or workload through assessing operators' physiological indexes by using Electroencephalography (EEG) and Electrocardiography (ECG) technologies. This project focuses on evaluating EEG and ECG technologies, lessons learned on the use of these technologies, and their associated implications in experimental research. Suggestions are made for the development of a research program for a study to enhance the IAI design.

Related Publications: 

  1. Morita, P., Chui, F., Burns, C. (2010). Preliminary Review of Psychophysiological Technologies to Support Multimodal UAV Interface Design.  (Final Report PWGSC Contract No. w7711-098148/001/TOR Call-up: 8148-02). June 30, 2010. Defense Research and Development Canada.

Sponsors and Partners:

  1. Defense Research and Development Canada (Research Contract).

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Ecological Interface Design for Sonobuoy Systems

Duration: 2006 - 2007 

Over the last few decades, sonar technology has improved significantly in sensors and processing techniques; however, there has been little changes in the displays for sonar data in the military since World War I. This project focuses on the air-borne sonobuoy system, applying EID to the analysis and design of their interface. Two seperate domains were modeled: the domain of sonobuoy management and the domain of tactical situation awareness. Design efforts were made based on the information requirements extracted from these domains.

Related Publications: 

  1. Chen, H.W., Lamoureux, T., & Burns, C.M. (2007). Work Domain Analysis for the Interface Design of a Sonobuoy System.Proceedings of the 51st Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (in press).

Sponsors & Partners: 

  1. Humansystems Inc. (Guelph, Ontario) 
  2. NSERC Postgraduate Scholarship

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Simulated Tank Behaviour with a Work Domain Analysis

Duration: 2003 - 2005

This project used a form of cognitive task analysis called work domain analysis to develop a constraint based model of the environment that armoured tanks must manoeuver. The environment model was combined with artificial intelligence techniques to create a reasonably robust simulation of tank behaviour. The goal was to have the tank simulate flexible human decision making and proof of concept evaluations demonstrated that simulation was reasonable.

Related Publications: 

  1. Mekdeci, B. (2005). Behaviour modelling using work domain analysis. Dissertation. Waterloo, Ontario: University of Waterloo, Department of Systems Design Engineering.

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TCAS Display Project

Duration: 2002 - 2004

This project demonstrated how very simple graphic information support for a common collision avoidance system (the TCAS system) can improve how well people can avoid aircraft collisions. The graphic support was based on visualizations of time and distance of approaching aircraft. This project also investigated the application of WDA to determine how it can be used to model the aircraft collision domain.

Related Publications: 

  1. Ho, D. & Burns, C. M. (2004). Ecological Interface Design in Aviation Domains: Work Domain Analysis of Automated Collision Detection and Avoidance. Proceedings of Human Factors and Ergonomics 47th Annual Meeting.
  2. Ho, D. (2004). Improving Pilot Trust in Automated Collision Detection and Avoidance With Ecological Interface Design. Dissertation. Waterloo, Ontario: University of Waterloo, Department of Systems Design Engineering.

Sponsors & Partners: 

  1. Center for Research in Earth and Space Technology (CRESTech)

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Enhancing Highway-In-The-Sky Displays with Advanced Display Concepts

Duration: 2002 - 2003

This project examined two display concepts, the Highway in the Sky (HITS) display and advanced display concepts in combination. The HITS display provides a tunnel that pilots can fly through, thereby maintaining their altitude and position more accurately. The weakness of the HITS display is that pilots can lose their sense of time in the tunnel and get off track with their flight progress. In this project, advanced display concepts to show speed time and distance were developed to supplement the HITS display. Research showed that the additional display concepts improved flying performance, particularly in windy conditions.

Related Publications: 

  1. Moradi*, R. and Burns, C.M. (2004). A visual display of flight time and distance. Proceedings of the 48th Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, 6-10.
  2. Nadimian, R. M. (2003). Using ecological interface design to enhance a highway-in-the-sky display. Dissertation. Waterloo, Ontario: University of Waterloo, Department of Systems Design Engineering.

Sponsors & Partners: 

  1. Centre for Research in Earth and Space Technology (CRESTech)
  2. National Research Centre Flight Laboratory (NRC FLR)

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