Human Factors Issues for Controlling Uninhabited Aerial Vehicles – Preliminary Findings in support of the Canadian Forces Joint Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Surveillance Target Acquisition System Project


  1. Arrabito, G.R.
  2. Ho, G.
  3. Lambert, A.
  4. Rutley, M.
  5. Keillor, J.
  6. Chiu, A.
  7. Au, H.
  8. Hou, M.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Toronto, Toronto ONT (CAN)
The Directorate Technical Airworthiness and Engineering Support 6 tasked Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) – Toronto to provide a preliminary summary of human factors issues related to the control of uninhabited aerial vehicles (UAVs) in support of the Canadian Forces Joint Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Surveillance Target Acquisition System (JUSTAS) project. This was carried out by performing a literature review, and consulting with subject matter experts. The human factors topics discussed are organizational influences, operator influences, and human-system integration issues. The key findings were: (1) human factors play a major role in UAV mishaps, (2) operator vigilance is required in automated UAV control, (3) recent increases in long-endurance UAV operations have necessitated shift work schedules to man the GCS around-the-clock that has caused UAV operators to experience fatigue leading to serious implications on health and performance, (4) a ground control station interface that supports a multimodal display (i.e., an interface that uses visual, auditory, and tactile cues) can enhance operator performance, and, (5) prior pilot experience may not be a mandatory criterion for selecting individuals for operating the Predator UAV. This report concludes by proposing short- and long-term recommendations for defining future requirements in support of the JUSTAS project.

Il y a un résumé en français ici.

uninhabited aerial vehicles;human factors;operator performance;ground control station interface;accidents and incidents
Report Number
DRDC-TORONTO-TR-2009-043 — Technical Report
Date of publication
01 Nov 2010
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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