AH-64D Apache Longbow Aircrew Workload Assessment for Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) Employment

Report No. ARL-TR-4707
Authors: David B. Durbin and Jamison S. Hicks
Date/Pages: January 2009; 76 pages
Abstract: This study assessed whether workload was tolerable for AH-64D pilots when they employed an unmanned aerial system (UAS) during simulated missions. Ten AH-64D pilots participated in the study. Pilot workload, situation awareness, crew coordination, crewstation interface, switch actuations, simulator sickness, visual gaze and dwell times (using a head-eye tracker), audio-video, and tactics, techniques and procedures data were collected and analyzed. Pilot workload was found to be tolerable for the tasks they performed during the simulated missions. The workload ratings provided by the pilots were lower than the Objective and Threshold workload ratings requirements listed in the AH-64D Apache Longbow Block III Capability Development Document. Pilots reported that employing the UAS increased their overall task workload, but the situation awareness provided by the UAS sensor decreased the workload required to detect and engage targets and decreased overall target engagement timelines.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: January 1, 2009