A Systems Analysis of the Introduction of Unmanned Aircraft Into Aircraft Carrier Operations
© 2015 IEEE. Recent advances in unmanned and autonomous vehicle technology are accelerating the push to integrate these vehicles into environments, such as the National Airspace System, the national highway system, and many manufacturing environments. These environments will require close collaboration between humans and vehicles, and their large scales mean that real-world field trials may be difficult to execute due to concerns of cost, availability, and technological maturity. This paper describes the use of an agent-based model to explore the system-level effects of unmanned vehicle implementation on the performance of these collaborative human-vehicle environments. In particular, this paper explores the introduction of three different unmanned vehicle control architectures into aircraft carrier flight deck operations. The different control architectures are tested under an example mission scenario using 22 aircraft. Results show that certain control architectures can improve the rate of launches, but these improvements are limited by the structure of flight deck operations and nature of the launch task (which is defined independently of vehicles). Until the launch task is improved, the effects of unmanned vehicle control architectures on flight deck performance will be limited.
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