Modeling Pilot Situation Awareness

  • Becky L. Hooey
  • Brian F. Gore
  • Christopher D. Wickens
  • Shelly Scott-Nash
  • Connie Socash
  • Ellen Salud
  • David C. Foyle
Conference paper



The Man–machine Integration Design and Analysis (MIDAS) human performance model was augmented to improve predictions of multi-operator situation awareness (SA). In MIDAS, the environment is defined by situation elements (SE) that are processed by the modeled operator via a series of sub-models including visual attention, perception, and memory. Collectively, these sub-models represent the situation assessment process and determine which SEs are attended to, and comprehended by, the modeled operator. SA is computed as a ratio of the Actual SA (the number of SEs that are detected or comprehended) to the Optimal SA (the number of SEs that are required or desired to complete the task).


A high-fidelity application model of a two-pilot commercial crew during the approach phase of flight was generated to demonstrate and verify the SA model. Two flight deck display configurations, hypothesized to support pilot SA at differing levels, were modeled.


The results presented include the ratio of actual to optimal SA for three high-level tasks: Aviate, Separate, and Navigate.


The model results verified that the SA model is sensitive to scenario characteristics including display configuration and pilot responsibilities.


Situation awareness (SA) Human performance model Pilot model Man–machine integration design and analysis system (MIDAS) 



This research was funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Aviation Safety (AvSAFE) Program (Integrated Intelligent Flight Deck Technologies (IIFTD)/System Design & Analysis (SDA) project).


  1. 1.
    Joint Planning and Development Office (2009) Concept of Operations for the Next Generation Air Transport System, v3.0, October 2009
  2. 2.
    Salmon PM, Stanton NA, Walker GH, Jenkins DP (2009) Distributed situation awareness. Ashgate, BurlingtonGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Endsley MR (1995) Toward a theory of situation awareness in dynamic systems. Hum Factors 37(1):32–64CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Jones RET, Connors ES, Mossey ME, Hyatt JR, Hansen NJ, Endsley MR (2010) Modeling situation awareness for army infantry platoon leaders using fuzzy cognitive mapping techniques. In: Proceedings of the Behavior Representation in Modeling and Simulation (BRIMS) Conference, Charleston, SCGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Wickens CD, McCarley J, Alexander A, Thomas LC, Ambinder M, Zheng S (2008) Chapter 9. Attention-situation awareness (A-SA) model of pilot error. In: Foyle DC, Hooey BL (eds) Human performance modeling in aviation. CRC Press/Taylor & Francis, Boca RatonGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Zacharias GL, Miao AX, Illgen C, Yara JM, Siouris GM (1995) SAMPLE: situation awareness model for pilot in-the-loop evaluation. First Annual Conference on Situation Awareness in the Tactical Air Environment, Naval Air Warfare Center, Patuxent River, MDGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Gore BF (2011, this volume) Man-machine integration design and analysis system (MIDAS) v5: augmentations, motivations, and directions for aeronautics applications. In: Cacciabue C et al. (eds) Human modelling in assisted transportation. Springer-Verlag Italia SrlGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Gore BF, Smith JD (2006) Risk assessment and human performance modeling: the need for an integrated approach. Int J Hum Factors Model Simul 1(1):119–139CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Gore BF, Hooey BL, Wickens CD, Scott-Nash S (2009) A computational implementation of a human attention guiding mechanism in MIDAS v5. In: Duffy VG (ed) Digital human modeling. HCII. Springer-Verlag, Heidelberg, pp 237–246CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Shively RJ, Brickner M, Silbiger J (1997) A computational model of situational awareness instantiated in MIDAS. In: Proceedings of the Ninth International Symposium on Aviation Psychology, Columbus, OHGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Schutte PC, Trujillo AC (1996) Flight crew task management in non-normal situations. In: Proceedings of the 40th Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, HFES, Santa Monica, CA, pp 244–248Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Fadden S, Ververs PM, Wickens CD (2001) Pathway HUDs: are they viable? Hum Factors 43:173–193CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Granada S, Dao AQ, Wong W, Johnson WW, Battiste V (2005) Development and integration of a human-centered volumetric cockpit display for distributed air-ground operations. In: Proceedings of the 13th International Symposium on Aviation Psychology, Oklahoma City, OKGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia Srl 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Becky L. Hooey
    • 1
  • Brian F. Gore
    • 1
  • Christopher D. Wickens
    • 2
  • Shelly Scott-Nash
    • 2
  • Connie Socash
    • 2
  • Ellen Salud
    • 1
  • David C. Foyle
    • 3
  1. 1.San Jose State University at NASA Ames Research CenterMoffett FieldUSA
  2. 2.Alion Science and TechnologyBoulderUSA
  3. 3.NASA Ames Research CenterMoffett FieldUSA

Personalised recommendations