Small Aircraft Pilot Assistant: Onboard Decision Support System for SATS Aircraft Conference Paper uri icon


  • Distributed pilot decision-making plays a critical role in high volume operations at non-controlled/non-radar airports. The High Volume Operation concept, proposed by the NASA Small Aircraft Transportation System program, is based on an environment within which the decision-making is distributed mostly to the pilot. Realization of this concept relies on advanced cockpit systems that assist pilots in both information-processing and decision-making. This paper introduces an onboard pilot decision aid system called the Small Aircraft Pilot Assistant, which is dedicated to Small Aircraft Transportation System aircraft conducting High Volume Operations. The goal is to increase cockpit decision-making capacity by automating part of the pilot decision-making process, especially in the early stages of information acquisition and analysis. The Small Aircraft Pilot Assistant uses Artificial Intelligence techniques to aid pilots in following the High Volume Operation procedures, identifying the current flight segment, monitoring performance, advising of possible pilot mis-operation; and warning of potential traffic related hazards. A human factors analysis was conducted to determine the appropriate level of automation, using a real-time, multi-aircraft, multi pilot-in-the-loop simulation system called the Multi-agent Intelligent Distributed Airspace Simulation. Preliminary pilot test results show that the Small Aircraft Pilot Assistant is a promising system to satisfy the cockpit system requirements for the High Volume Operations of the Small Aircraft Transportation System.

name of conference

  • AIAA 5th ATIO and16th Lighter-Than-Air Sys Tech. and Balloon Systems Conferences

published proceedings

  • AIAA 5th ATIO and16th Lighter-Than-Air Sys Tech. and Balloon Systems Conferences

author list (cited authors)

  • Rong, J., Spaeth, T., & Valasek, J.

citation count

  • 5

complete list of authors

  • Rong, Jie||Spaeth, Theresa||Valasek, John

publication date

  • September 2005