Date: July 2, 2003
Jack Dwyer, Ph.D. — Boeing Company

Unpiloted Air Vehicles – the newest and arguably most radical addition to the civil and military aviation community – must be seamlessly and safely integrated into all facets of routine airspace operations.

But how shall this be achieved? How will Air Traffic Control’s management of the airspace need to be modified? And how will UAV control – by remotely located human operators and/or by autonomous on-board software – be designed to effectively comply with the full gambit of critical safety and capacity constraints dictated by the FAA’s Air Traffic Management system?

This is the real-world setting for the talk. The UAV ATM issue is a sample case, but this is also a talk about exploring design solutions to a complex and highly constrained problem.

For example, should separation between UAVs and other aircraft be maintained in the same way that all separation is achieved today, that is, by ATC issuing routing clearances (i.e., a “centralized” ground-based solution), or should separation be assured by each UAV autonomously avoiding traffic aircraft (a “distributed” airborne solution)? The UAV ATM issue is in large part analogous to Internet ‘autonomous agent’ problems, paper less medical records systems, and other network-oriented design domains. Do aerospace researchers follow the same solution paths as other HCI designers? Or are problems like UAV ATM de- manding of other types of design solutions?

Dr. Dwyer earned his PhD in Experimental Psychology (emphasis in Cognition) from UCLA in 1986. His career in the study of aerospace crew systems design and aircraft operations has addressed problems in commercial aviation automation, advanced supersonic transport concepts, Special Operations and other military transports, imaging sensors for landing in reduced visibility, and, most recently, UAVs and their operation in civilian airspace.

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