Human Factors Assessment of the UH-60M Crew Station During the Limited User Evaluation (LUT)

Report No. ARL-TR-3730
Authors: Thomas J. Havir, David B. Durbin, Lorraine J. Frederick, and Jamison S. Hicks (all of ARL)
Date/Pages: February 2006; 100 pages
Abstract: The utility helicopter (UH)-60M Product Manager requested the U.S. Army Research Laboratory?s Human Research and Engineering Directorate to participate in the Limited User Test for the UH-60M Black Hawk. ARL conducted a human factors evaluation during the LUT, which assessed workload, situation awareness, simulator sickness, pilot-vehicle interface, and eye tracker data. The data were used to identify characteristics of the UH-60M that enhance or degrade pilot performance. Characteristics that degrade pilot performance were included in the Manpower and Personnel Integration (MANPRINT) assessment for the system?s milestone decision and should be considered for future design changes at the earliest opportunity. Three UH-60 crews (six pilots) each conducted six mission scenarios for a total of 18 flights. The conditions of each mission were systematically varied and designed to become progressively more difficult as the pilots became more proficient at flying the aircraft. The pilots completed the simulator sickness questionnaire before and after each flight. They completed the Bedford Workload Rating Scale, Situation Awareness Rating Technique, and the Pilot-Vehicle Interface Questionnaire after each mission. In addition to pilot data, a tactical steering committee (TSC) performed an independent assessment of workload, situation awareness, and mission success. The TSC completed a survey after each mission. The data were analyzed with the use of the Wilcoxon Signed Ranks Test to compare pilot ratings between seat position and results between UH-60M and UH-60A/L model aircraft. The mean workload rating for all tasks for the UH-60M was 2.71, indicating that the pilots typically had enough workload capacity for all desirable additional tasks. The mean situation awareness rating provided by the pilots was 28.25. This SA rating indicates that the pilots felt they had high levels of situation awareness during the missions. The pilots also provided data and comments regarding the pilot-vehicle interface and offered recommendations for design improvements. Finally, the eye tracker results showed that the flying pilot was focused out the window 85.60% of the time while the non-flying pilot spent only 28.21% focused out the window. The results indicated that the UH-60M crew station resulted in acceptable workload and SA levels and offers significant improvements compared to the UH-60A/L. However, several issues were identified which, if corrected, could offer further reductions in workload and improve pilot performance. These issues should be considered for future modifications of the UH-60M design, and future human factors evaluations should be conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of any design changes.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: February 1, 2006