Redesigning systems for Single-Pilot Operations: the mutual awareness problem for remote crews
European Society for Socially Embedded Technologies (EUSSET)
Currently, flight safety is ensured by the collaboration of at least two pilots in the cockpit. Thanks to progress in automation and telecommunication, aircraft manufacturers and aviation companies envision that a single pilot in the cockpit assisted by a pilot on the ground (i.e Single-Pilot Operation) could ensure flight operations while requiring less human resources. However, without appropriate collaboration tools, this situation of remote collaboration may lead to a degradation of the awareness of actions and attitudes between the two pilots (i.e. mutual awareness). In this paper, we propose to enrich the understanding of the remote collaboration problems of two pilots through a fine-grained analysis of mutual awareness needs. First, we describe awareness frameworks from the literature. Second, we identify awareness issues during a case study involving a crew of pilots in two distant flight simulators. Third, we refine the relevant awareness concepts through exploratory prototyping of collaborative tools. These prototypes are based on three scenarios involving specific awareness requirements including 1) visualizing the physiological state of the pilot on board during a non stabilized approach, 2) an emergency decision making, and 3) global awareness during a whole flight for a better efficiency of the ground assistant operator at the arrival. In this article our contribution is a refined study of the awareness needs adapted to the context of remote collaborative piloting, with the final objective of designing more appropriate tools.