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Towards Enhanced Tactical Support Systems
University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre. Saab AB. (Skövde Artificial Intelligence Lab (SAIL))
2016 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Fighter pilots operate high-performing powerful aircraft, equipped with complex sensor systems, in a dynamic and hostile environment. The pilots need to have control over their own aircraft as well as the developing situation surrounding them. Moreover, the fighter pilot rarely is on a mission by himself, but collaborates with teammates to achieve the goals jointly. This collaboration between fighter aircraft cannot take place without technology in the form of a tactical support system (TSS) that aids the pilots with information retrieval and decision-making. A TSS in a fighter aircraft fuses data from different sources and organizes the information in order to assist the pilot in building situation awareness and support in the decision-making during missions. The capabilities of the aircraft and its sensors, as well as the design of the TSS will directly affect how the pilots can perform the missions. The technology and the design at the same time enable and constrain the possible acting space, such that the tactics and plans for the missions will be a consequence of these factors. Hence, the design and development of such a complex system requires deep knowledge about the users and understanding of how they will operate the system. High usability is among the requirements for such a specialized and advanced system as the TSS, and in order to achieve this there is a need to understand the circumstances the system will be used in. Due to the complex nature of the military operations and the difficulties to access the domain for others than pilots, it is challenging for designers of the TSSs to obtain this needed knowledge. Therefore, this thesis aims at investigating the nature of the operations, as well as the practice of user participation in the domain, in order to increase the designers’ knowledge and give guidance to how users should participate in the development of the systems. 

Several methods that aim to design efficient and usable systems are available. User-centered design is a holistic philosophy that prescribes that the interests and needs of the users should be in focus through the whole development process in order to achieve better systems. At the core of user-centered design is to increase the knowledge about the users and their needs. This thesis applies two perspectives, which both contributes to fulfill the goal of user-centered design of the TSSs by obtaining more knowledge about the users. The two perspectives are: a better understanding of how the users/pilots utilize the TSS to perform teamwork during missions, and an insight into how the users/pilots participate during the development process of the TSSs. 

The teamwork perspective is motivated by the fact that fighter pilots perform a majority of their missions collaborating in teams. Their teamwork is depending on technology since the pilots are separated from each other in their fighter airplanes. Understanding this teamwork is hence a key to understanding the users in this domain. This thesis investigates the nature of teamwork between fighter pilots based on a theoretical teamwork model, the  “Big Five” of effective teamwork proposed by Salas, Sims, and Burke (2005). The “Big Five” model contains eight elements that Salas et al. identified as necessary for effective teamwork: adaptability, backup behavior, closed-loop communication, shared mental models, mutual performance monitoring, team orientation, mutual trust, and team leadership. The user-participation perspective is based on the notion that involving the users in different stages through the development process will benefit the results. However, user participation can take many different forms. The users can have different roles during the process, and the impact their opinions will have on the product can vary. This thesis investigates user participation and the roles the users, i.e. pilots, have in the development process of fighter aircraft of TSSs and cockpit interfaces. 

These two perspectives are each assigned an aim in the investigation. For the first aim, Increase the knowledge about how fighter pilots collaborate in teams during missions with the current systems, ten fighter pilots were interviewed about their views on teamwork. The teamwork elements of the “Big Five” model are explored and described for the military fighter context. With this knowledge, a task performance cycle is proposed which shows were in the cycle of a mission each teamwork element is most important. Finally, a modified teamwork model adapted for mission performance for fighter pilots is suggested.

For the second aim, Increase the knowledge about how pilots can and should participate in the design process of fighter aircraft interfaces, a study on how pilots participate in the design work of cockpit interfaces is conducted. The inquiry is based on a questionnaire, which was distributed to designers of fighter cockpit interfaces. The results indicate that the designers think the pilots have and should have many different roles in the design process. The designers wish to be able to observe pilots at work to a greater extent and to obtain more information and ideas from them. They also think that pilots should be more involved as examiners and testers. However, pilots should not be designers or decision-makers regarding design, according to the majority of respondents. 

The presented contributions of the team-related research in this thesis are a deeper understanding and rich descriptions of how fighter pilots perform missions from a teamwork perspective. The teamwork elements are examined, and their relations and their importance during mission performance are described. For example, it was found that the abilities to monitor each other, to adapt, and to communicate were the most important factors for effective teamwork during a mission. For the investigation of how designers of pilot interfaces work with user representatives in the design process, the contribution is a description of the different roles the users can have during the development process in this domain. The results are primarily intended to inform designers of tactical support systems and cockpit interfaces. However, other domains where team members are distributed, and are highly dependent on technology for their teamwork, should benefit from the findings. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Skövde: Högskolan i Skövde , 2016. , 58 p.
Series
Dissertation Series, 10
Keyword [en]
teamwork, decision support, user participation, fighter aircraft
National Category
Human Computer Interaction
Research subject
Natural sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:his:diva-13133ISBN: 978-91-982690-0-0OAI: oai:DiVA.org:his-13133DiVA: diva2:1049445
Presentation
2016-12-15, G110, Högskolan i Skövde, Skövde, 13:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Projects
NFFP6 VINNOVA
Funder
VINNOVA, NFFP6-2013-0121
Available from: 2016-11-29 Created: 2016-11-24 Last updated: 2016-11-29Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Understanding Team Effectiveness in a Tactical Air Unit
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Understanding Team Effectiveness in a Tactical Air Unit
2015 (English)In: Engineering Psychology and Cognitive Ergonomics: 12th International Conference, EPCE 2015, Held as Part of HCI International 2015, Los Angeles, CA, USA, August 2-7, 2015, Proceedings / [ed] Don Harris, Springer, 2015, Vol. 9174, 472-479 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Effective team work is regarded as a key factor for success in missions performed by fighter aircraft in a Tactical Air Unit (TAU). Many factors contrib-ute to how a team will succeed in their mission. From the existing literature on teamwork, Salas, Sims and Burke [1], suggested five main factors and three sup-porting mechanisms for effective team work. These were proposed as the “Big Five” of teamwork. This article investigates if the model offered by Salas et al. is applicable to a TAU of fighter aircraft. Semi-structured interviews were carried out with six fighter pilots. The results of these interviews imply that the model has relevance for the teamwork in a TAU. Moreover, this paper discusses impli-cations for the design of future decision-support systems that support team effec-tiveness. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2015
Series
, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, ISSN 0302-9743 ; 9174
Keyword
Team effectiveness, fighter aircraft, tactical air unit
National Category
Computer Science
Research subject
Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:his:diva-11558 (URN)10.1007/978-3-319-20373-7_45 (DOI)2-s2.0-84947247735 (ScopusID)
Conference
12th International Conference on Engineering Psychology and Cognitive Ergonomics (EPCE 2015), Held as Part of HCI International 2015, Los Angeles, CA, USA, August 2-7, 2015
Funder
VINNOVA
Available from: 2015-09-25 Created: 2015-09-25 Last updated: 2016-11-24Bibliographically approved
2. Elements of team effectiveness: A qualitative study with pilots
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Elements of team effectiveness: A qualitative study with pilots
2016 (English)In: 2016 IEEE International Multi-Disciplinary Conference on Cognitive Methods in Situation Awareness and Decision Support (CogSIMA), IEEE Computer Society, 2016, 21-27 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Fighter pilots performing air missions rely heavily on teamwork for successful outcomes. Designing systems that support such teamwork in highly dynamic missions is a challenging task, and to the best of our knowledge, current teamwork models are not specifically adapted for this domain. This paper presents a model of task performance for military fighter pilots based on the teamwork model “Big Five” proposed by Salas, Sims, and Burke [1]. The “Big Five” model consists of eight teamwork elements that are essential for successful team performance. In-depth interviews were performed with fighter pilots to explore and describe the teamwork elements for the fighter aircraft domain. The findings from these interviews are used to suggest where in the task cycle of mission performance each teamwork element comes in to play.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IEEE Computer Society, 2016
Keyword
fighter aircraft, teamwork, fighter pilots, team effectiveness
National Category
Engineering and Technology Human Computer Interaction
Research subject
Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:his:diva-12960 (URN)10.1109/COGSIMA.2016.7497781 (DOI)2-s2.0-84981298083 (ScopusID)978-1-5090-0632-8 (ISBN)
Conference
IEEE International Multi-Disciplinary Conference on Cognitive Methods in Situation Awareness and Decision Support (CogSIMA), San Diego, CA, 21-25 March 2016
Funder
VINNOVA
Available from: 2016-09-24 Created: 2016-09-24 Last updated: 2016-11-24Bibliographically approved
3. A Teamwork Model for Fighter Pilots
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A Teamwork Model for Fighter Pilots
2016 (English)In: Engineering Psychology and Cognitive Ergonomics: 13th International Conference, EPCE 2016, Held as Part of HCI International 2016, Toronto, ON, Canada, July 17-22, 2016, Proceedings / [ed] Don Harris, Springer, 2016, Vol. 9736, 221-230 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Fighter pilots depend on collaboration and teamwork to perform successful air missions. However, such collaboration is challenging due to limitations in communication and the amount of data that can be shared between aircraft. In order to design future support systems for fighter pilots, this paper aims at characterizing how pilots collaborate while performing real-world missions. Our starting point is the “Big Five” model for effective teamwork, put forth by Salas et al. [1]. Fighter pilots were interviewed about their teamwork, and how they prepare and perform missions in teams. The results from the interviews were used to describe how pilots collaborate in teams, and to suggest relationships between the teamwork elements of the “Big Five” model for fighter pilots performing missions. The results presented in this paper are intended to inform designers and developers of cockpit displays, data links and decision support systems for fighter aircraft.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2016
Series
, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, ISSN 0302-9743 ; 9736
Keyword
Team effectiveness, Teamwork, Fighter aircraft, Fighter pilots
National Category
Engineering and Technology Human Computer Interaction
Research subject
Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:his:diva-12961 (URN)10.1007/978-3-319-40030-3_23 (DOI)2-s2.0-84978218415 (ScopusID)978-3-319-40029-7 (ISBN)978-3-319-40030-3 (ISBN)
Conference
13th International Conference, EPCE 2016, Held as Part of HCI International 2016, Toronto, ON, Canada, July 17-22, 2016
Funder
VINNOVA
Available from: 2016-09-24 Created: 2016-09-24 Last updated: 2016-11-24Bibliographically approved
4. User Participation in the Design of Cockpit Interfaces
Open this publication in new window or tab >>User Participation in the Design of Cockpit Interfaces
2016 (English)In: Advances in Ergonomics Modeling, Usability & Special Populations / [ed] Marcelo Soares, Christianne Falcão & Tareq Z. Ahram, Springer, 2016, Vol. 486, 51-58 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper investigates the nature of user participation in the process of designing fighter aircraft cockpits. The role of the users, i.e. pilots, in the design of cockpit interfaces is explored. We present the results of an on-line questionnaire with twelve designers of cockpit interfaces for fighter aircraft. The results show that the designers have highlighted the need for more opportunities to observe the pilots, and they wish to obtain more information and ideas from them. Moreover, a larger involvement from users as examiners and testers in the evaluation process was desirable. Access to users was considered unproblematic and the risk of misunderstandings was reported to be low. Moreover, the designers did not support the idea that users should design or take design decisions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2016
Series
, Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing, ISSN 2194-5357 ; 486
Keyword
User participation, User involvement, Fighter aircraft
National Category
Human Computer Interaction Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:his:diva-12962 (URN)10.1007/978-3-319-41685-4_5 (DOI)978-3-319-41685-4 (ISBN)978-3-319-41684-7 (ISBN)
Conference
AHFE 2016 International Conference on Ergonomics Modeling, Usability & Special Populations, July 27-31, 2016, Walt Disney World®, Florida, USA
Funder
VINNOVA
Available from: 2016-09-24 Created: 2016-09-24 Last updated: 2016-11-24
5. System Characteristics and Contextual Constraints for Future Fighter Decision Support
Open this publication in new window or tab >>System Characteristics and Contextual Constraints for Future Fighter Decision Support
2016 (English)In: International Journal of Information System Modeling and Design, ISSN 1947-8186, E-ISSN 1947-8194, Vol. 7, no 1, 1-17 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Research on decision support systems for fighter aircraft has to regard future manned and unmanned cooperating aircraft. This paper highlights system characteristics and contextual constraints to guide research as well as system development. Long term trends have been identified for the domain that has to be coped with, including the transformation of the fighter pilot from pilot to tactical decision maker. Automation strategies have to be developed to support manned and unmanned aircraft in a joint cognitive system. For instance, for intelligent fighter pilot support, for distributed unmanned and manned decision making, function allocation has to be concerned. For function allocation it is important not only to regard which agent is best at performing a task but also to regard the risk/cost of performing a task in this kind of potentially hazardous context.

Keyword
Decision Support, Fighter Aircraft, Fighter Pilot, Function Allocation, Human Interoperability, Joint Cognitive Systems, RPAV, Scenario, UAV
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:his:diva-13146 (URN)10.4018/IJISMD.2016010101 (DOI)000385432200001 ()2-s2.0-84957096465 (ScopusID)
Available from: 2016-11-28 Created: 2016-11-28 Last updated: 2016-11-28Bibliographically approved

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