A methodological approach to the use of data-supported environmental factors in support of the introduction of autonomous air vehicles in a shared airspace
The evolution of aerospace technologies and automated systems has been accompanied by the phenomenon of “de-crewing”. A large body of current research focuses on how to move to single-pilot operations (SPO), but a major barrier to the implementation of SPO and other autonomous commercial aircraft operations is that advances in human-machine interactions and human factors have not kept pace with technological change. The objective of the research project that is the subject of this proposal is to develop a methodology to simulate autonomous flight in a real-time, virtual environment. The project focuses on the introduction of a fully autonomous aircraft into a shared airspace in a simulated environment that enables the acquisition of data to support the development of a shared manned and un-manned airspace. The project proposes the implementation of a case study in which autonomous flight in shared airspace is simulated using the virtual representation of an unmanned air vehicle flying in a virtual airspace that is populated with real-time data. The research is based on, and extends, recent research in the area of situation awareness, ontological knowledge representation, next-generation Air Traffic Management and user-centered design.