Background: As human spaceflight missions extend in duration and distance from Earth, a self-sufficient crew will bear far greater onboard responsibility and authority for mission success. This will increase the need for automated fault management (FM). Human factors issues in the use of such systems include maintenance of cognitive skill, situational awareness (SA), trust in automation, and workload. This study examined the human performance consequences of operator use of intelligent FM support in interaction with an autonomous, space-related, atmospheric control system. Methods: An expert system representing a model-based reasoning agent supported operators at a low level of automation (LOA) by a computerized fault finding guide, at a medium LOA by an automated diagnosis and recovery advisory, and at a high LOA by automated diagnosis and recovery implementation, subject to operator approval or veto. Ten percent of the experimental trials involved complete failure of FM support. Results: Benefits of automation were reflected in more accurate diagnoses, shorter fault identification time, and reduced subjective operator workload. Unexpectedly, fault identification times deteriorated more at the medium than at the high LOA during automation failure. Analyses of information sampling behavior showed that offloading operators from recovery implementation during reliable automation enabled operators at high LOA to engage in fault assessment activities. Conclusions: The potential threat to SA imposed by high-level automation, in which decision advisories are automatically generated, need not inevitably be counteracted by choosing a lower LOA. Instead, freeing operator cognitive resources by automatic implementation of recovery plans at a higher LOA can promote better fault comprehension, so long as the automation interface is designed to support efficient information sampling.
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|Titolo:||Automated fault-management in a simulated spaceflight micro-world|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2002|
|Appartiene alla tipologia:||01a Articolo in rivista|