Aerotecnica Missili & Spazio

, Volume 97, Issue 1, pp 27–33 | Cite as

A Pilot Mental Workload Case Study in a Full Flight Simulator

  • A. Alaimo
  • A. Esposito
  • C. Orlando
  • G. Tesoriere


The present paper deals with the pilot mental workload estimation in a simulated fixed wing aircraft environment. A full flight simulator of the CESSNA C560 XLS is used to ensure a high fidelity flight experience in order to evaluate pilot performance. A noninvasive device is employed to get pilot ECG during simulated flight and in particular the Heart Rate Variability (HRV) is analyzed to look for objective indices of workload level. Subjective measures based on NASA-TLX questionnaire are also considered to compare the HRV parameters estimation with the own pilot perception of workload level associated to each of the considered task. Results are presented and commented for two different flight segments: i) Take Off and Climb; ii) Approach and Landing.



NASA Task Load indeX


Subjective WORkload Dominance


Heart Rate


Autonomic Nervous System


Heart Rate Variability




Standard Deviation of R-R intervals


Standard Deviation of Normal R-R intervals


Root Mean Square of the Successive Differences


Standard Deviation of the Poincare plot perpendicular to the line-of-identity.


Standard Deviation of Successive Differences


Low Frequency/High Frequency


Full Flight Simulator




True Altitude


Calibrated Air Speed


Q code Nautical Height


Instrument Landing System


Take Off


Level Flight


Landing Gear Down


Touch Down


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Copyright information

© AIDAA Associazione Italiana di Aeronautica e Astronautica 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Alaimo
    • 1
  • A. Esposito
    • 1
  • C. Orlando
    • 1
  • G. Tesoriere
    • 1
  1. 1.Enna Facoltà di Ingegneria e Architettura“Kore” - Università di EnnaItaly

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