This research aims to explore the relationship between

This
research aims to explore the relationship between a pilot’s performance and
fatigue, when interacting with cockpit interfaces by analyzing differences in
reaction time, the slowest 10% of RT, the fastest 10% of RT, the number of
lapses, the number of false alarms, fixation number, fixation duration, and
visual scanning strategies between novice and expert pilots.

 

In
more details, the results show that experts had fewer lapses and less reaction
time during all the defined flight segments (Figure 3 (a) and (b)). The results
also show that experts had less slowest 10% RT, more fastest 10% RT, and less
number of false alarms. Even though the results demonstrate that experts
performed their flight tasks in a more efficient way than novices, there were
remarkable increases in reaction time, slowest 10% of RT, fastest 10% of RT,
the number of lapses, the number of false alarms, fixation number, and fixation
duration, for both novice and expert pilot’s as the flight went on to the final
segment. This accords with the findings of Lee et al., (2010), which
demonstrated that increasing in reaction time, slowest 10% of RT, fastest 10%
of RT, the number of lapses, and the number of false alarms were strongly
associated with the increasing level of fatigue 5.

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The
analysis of DWN’s (Figure 6), shows that the scanning strategy of experts was
different from novice pilots. Expert pilots demonstrated more frequent
fixations with shorter duration on AOI’s than novice pilots during all five
flight segments. Novices paid most of their attention to the attitude and
altimeter indicators during all flight segments, while experts not only focused
on the attitude indicator and altimeter, but also regularly scanned the EI, EVS
and the AS indicators in fast and flexible eye movement. Based on the DWN
analysis (Figure 6), expert pilots demonstrated a stronger and more defined
scan pattern than novice pilots.

 

Even
though the analysis demonstrates that experts had better scanning pattern results
than novices, there were notable increase in fixation time and less fixation
transition among AOI’s for both novice and expert pilot’s as the flight went on
to the final segment.

 

The
results of Psychomotor Vigilance Tests suggest that both experts and novices
started responding faster with less number of lapses and less false alarm,
however, as the flight went on to the final flight segment their response
became slower and the number of lapses and false alarm had increased. The
analysis of DWN; s concurs with PVT results, it showed that experts and novices
started with strong visual scanning pattern and became weak as the flight
mission became more demanding and pilots became more fatigued over the course
of the flight.

 

We
also observed that experts had a better flight performance by contrasting the
information acquired from different instruments on the cockpit display than
novices. This could possibly be a consequence of familiarity with performed
tasks. These findings are in accordance with earlier findings (Kramer et al.
(1994), showing that the difference between expert and novice performance was
due to two main reasons. The first was that the expert had more familiarity
with tasks, therefore the cognitive process tended to be programed and automated.
The second reason was peripheral vision. Experts developed better peripheral
vision than novices because of the flight experience 4.

 

 

5.             Conclusion

This
research was a small-scale study to investigate the relationship between a
pilot’s experience, performance and fatigue, when interacting with cockpit
interfaces during different flight segments, utilizing eye tracker system and
PVT battery of fatigue measures that reflect changes to physical and cognitive
performance. In this research, we found that both experts and novices’ response
became slower and the number of lapses and false alarm were increased as the
flight went on to the final flight segment. The analysis of DWN also showed
that experts and novices visual scanning pattern became weak as the flight
mission became more demanding and pilots became more fatigued over the course
of the flight. It was also found that experts had fewer lapses and less
reaction time and less number of false alarm than novices. Experts also had a
shorter fixation duration, more fixation number, faster and wider scanning
frequency and wider scan area than novices. This information can be used to
guide novices to spread their scanning faster and wider for better and safer
flight performance. Based on the findings of this study, we are planning to
design more robust experiments, with more complex and longer flight scenarios
and more participants. The analysis of this research was limited; we could
involve more variables, such as the pupil diameter, blink rate.

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