AH-64D Apache Longbow/Video from UAS for Interoperability Teaming Level II

Report No. ARL-TR-4724
Authors: Jamison S. Hicks, David B. Durbin, and LTC Brian Sperling
Date/Pages: April 2009; 80 pages
Abstract: An AH-64D/Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) aircrew workload assessment was conducted during February 2008 in Huntsville, AL. The purpose of the assessment was to evaluate AH-64D aircrew workload during UAS level II interoperability under simulated mission conditions. The workload assessment consisted of operational missions conducted by aircrews (eight pilots) in an AH-64D simulator. Pilot workload, situational awareness (SA), 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. Additionally, subject matter experts (SMEs) observed each mission and rated crew workload, crew SA, crew coordination and mission success. Pilots reported that workload was tolerable for the tasks performed during the missions. The workload ratings provided by the pilots and SMEs were lower than the Objective and Threshold workload ratings requirements listed in the Apache Block III (AB3) Capability Development Document. The pilots reported that they had moderate levels of SA during the missions. Pilots stated that having to interact with an additional sensor (UAS sensor) increased their overall task workload, but the SA provided by the UAS sensor decreased the workload required to detect and engage targets and decreased overall target engagement timelines. Most pilots reported that the UAS crewstation interface was usable, but needed improvements to enhance overall effectiveness. The pilots commented that with several enhancements and more experience using the system, workload would be decreased.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: April 1, 2009