Work performed at Langley under the Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate’s Advanced Air Mobility concept has enabled capabilities we’ve developed through decades of experience in human factors and increasingly autonomous systems research, development, and thought leadership. Our researchers in CSAOB, together with fellow members of our Intelligent Flight Systems product line at Langley, have performed much of their work in an aviation context, which includes highly trained expert operators performing safety-critical tasks – safe-keeping hundreds of lives at a time – in a high-stakes, and at times high-stress, environment.

Research in human-autonomy teaming drives toward the development of multi-agent collaborations, including operator adaptive capacity, bi-directional trust across agents, and formal modeling of human-machine interactions using cognitive architectures. We are experts in the development of the test, evaluation, and performance measurement infrastructure necessary to assure the safety and efficacy of design solutions. Expert human operators in safety-critical domains – whether situated on the ground or in flight – take actions during operations every day on every mission which cause safety.

We are experts in studying and identifying these actions through observations, surveys, interviews, and human-in-the-loop simulations. This is relevant, for example, to ensuring a rigorous and thorough understanding of what will be missing when ground support is no longer available, and what will be needed for integrating with “replacement” Autonomous Systems. We need to flush out such potentially latent requirements for establishing safe Earth independent operations.

Assessment of expert operators as they cause safety, and as they interact with autonomous systems.

Technical Points of Contact

Dr. Angela Harrivel, Crew Systems and Aviation Operations Branch, NASA Langley Research Center

Dr. Jon Holbrook, Crew Systems and Aviation Operations Branch, NASA Langley Research Center

Return to “Research Spotlight: NASA 2024 Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop