Cognitive task analysis for an unmanned aircraft system


  1. Arrabito, G. R.
  2. Hou, M.
  3. Banbury, S.
Corporate Authors
Defence Research and Development Canada, Toronto Research Centre , Toronto ON (CAN)
The remote operation of an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) usually involves coordination between operators of the system in the ground control station (GCS) and intelligence analysts who are in different geographical locations. The physical separation of these two teams can negatively influence collaboration and timely decision-making during time-sensitive operations. The integration of the UAS operators and the intelligence operators in the same location is expected to improve overall collaboration and decision making. The interface design process to support an integrated UAS operation starts by conducting a Cognitive Task Analysis (CTA) to reveal the cognitive processes that occur in the end users of the technology. This report carried out a CTA with suitable subject matter experts in the Canadian Armed Forces to inform the identification of human machine interface requirements for a UAS GCS. A hybrid analysis technique was employed: mission function task analysis, goal-directed task analysis, and cognitive task analysis. The analysis focused on the critical situation awareness elements that are required by operators to make effective decisions within complex, time critical UAS missions.

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Cognitive task Analysis;Unmanned aircraft system
Report Number
DRDC-RDDC-2019-D041 — Reference Document
Date of publication
01 May 2019
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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