17 May 2013 An intuitive graphical user interface for small UAS
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Thousands of small UAVs are in active use by the US military and are generally operated by trained but not necessarily skilled personnel. The user interfaces for these devices often seem to be more engineering-focused than usability-focused, which can lead to operator frustration, poor mission effectiveness, reduced situational awareness, and sometimes loss of the vehicle. In addition, coordinated control of both air and ground vehicles is a frequently desired objective, usually with the intent of increasing situational awareness for the ground vehicle. The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific (SSCPAC) is working under a Naval Innovative Science and Engineering project to address these topics. The UAS currently targeted are the Raven/Puma/Wasp family of air vehicles as they are small, all share the same communications protocol, and are in wide-spread use. The stock ground control station (GCS) consists of a hand control unit, radio, interconnect hub, and laptop. The system has been simplified to an X-box controller, radio and a laptop, resulting in a smaller hardware footprint, but most importantly the number of personnel required to operate the system has been reduced from two to one. The stock displays, including video with text overlay on one and FalconView on the other, are replaced with a single, graphics-based, integrated user interface, providing the user with much improved situational awareness. The SSCPAC government-developed GCS (the Multi-robot Operator Control Unit) already has the ability to control ground robots and this is leveraged to realize simultaneous multi-vehicle operations including autonomous UAV over-watch for enhanced UGV situational awareness.
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Nicholas Stroumtsos, Nicholas Stroumtsos, Gary Gilbreath, Gary Gilbreath, Scott Przybylski, Scott Przybylski, "An intuitive graphical user interface for small UAS", Proc. SPIE 8741, Unmanned Systems Technology XV, 87410F (17 May 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2016513; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2016513

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