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188 Int J Applied Decision Sciences Vol 3 No 3 2010 Global vs local decision support for multiple independent UAV schedule management Mary L Cummings Aeronautics and Astronautics Department Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge MA 02139 USA Fax 617 253 4196 E mail missyc mit edu Corresponding author Amy S Brzezinski Expedition Vehicle Division NASA Johnson Space Center Houston TX 77058 USA E mail amy s brzezinski nasa gov Abstract As unmanned aerial vehicles UAVs become increasingly autonomous time critical and complex single operator systems will require advance prediction and mitigation of schedule conflicts However actions that mitigate a current schedule conflict may create future schedule problems Decision support is needed allowing an operator to evaluate different mission schedule management options in real time This paper describes two decision support visualisations for single operator supervisory control of four independent UAVs performing a time critical targeting mission A configural display common to both visualisations called StarVis graphically depicts current schedule problems as well as projections of potential local and global schedule problems Results from an experiment showed that subjects using the locally optimal StarVis implementation had better performance higher situational awareness and no significant increase in workload over a more globally optimal implementation of StarVis This research effort highlights how the same decision support design applied at different abstraction levels can produce different performance results Keywords multiple unmanned aerial vehicles supervisory control configural displays decision support schedule visualisation Reference to this paper should be made as follows Cummings M L and Brzezinski A S 2010 Global vs local decision support for multiple independent UAV schedule management Int J Applied Decision Sciences Vol 3 No 3 pp 188 205 Biographical notes Mary L Cummings received her BS in Mathematics from the US Naval Academy in 1988 her MS in Space Systems Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School in 1994 and her PhD in Systems Engineering from the University of Virginia in 2004 A Naval Officer from 1988 1999 she was one of the Navy s first female fighter pilots She is currently an Associate Professor in the Aeronautics Astronautics Department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Her research interests include human interaction with Copyright 2010 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd Global vs local decision support for multiple independent UAV 189 autonomous vehicle systems modelling human interaction with complex systems decision support design and the ethical and social impact of technology Amy Brzezinski received her SB in 2005 and SM in 2008 in Aeronautical Astronautical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology She is currently a NASA Flight Controller for the International Space Station in the Command and Data Handling Group Her research interests



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