The SAMU (Scalable Autonomy for heterogenous Mutli-Ship UCAV-Fighter Missions) project addresses mission and guidance concepts of manned-unmanned teams in the field of multi-purpose combat aircrafts. Research activities focus on the development of guidance and assistance functions and their integration into a cockpit simulator developed at the institute. For this purpose, concepts in the areas of Adaptive Pilot Assistance and automated Mission Management are developed and implemented. Together with pilots of the German Armed Forces, they are tested in man-machine experiments in overall mission simulations.


Research Priorities of the Projects:

Scalable Autonomy

The guidance of several aircraft from a manned cockpit of an aircraft confronts the pilot with high system complexity. In order to enable MUM-T deployment concepts, innovative guidance concepts must be developed for the aircraft cockpit. The concept of scalable autonomy is a central component here. It enables the management of UAVs at different levels of automation and therefore allows a high level of control if required and a high level of autonomy if necessary. To implement this concept in the overall system, mission planning and automation of the UAVs are developed and tested in a highly integrated manner.

UAV Automation

An effective use of multiple unmanned aerial vehicles by a single human operator is only possible through a high degree of automation of the unmanned platforms. Automation of cognitive capabilities such as planning, inference and situational responsiveness allows a simplified guidance of the UAVs by the operator. These intelligent capabilities are implemented by means of agent-based software on board the UAVs. The implementation and integration of these functionalities is the main focus of research.

Automated mission planning

The temporal and logical coordination of several unmanned aerial vehicles in a single mission is a complex and challenging task. Therefore, the pilot is supported by an automated Mission Management system. A cooperative paradigm is pursued according to which the pilot should plan the mission as independently as possible. The mission planner supports the pilot with suggestions for optimization or conflict resolution. The focus of research here is the application of optimization methods as well as the development and testing of cooperative aspects of planning.

Adaptive Pilot Assistance

The increasing complexity of automation in a system raises the risk of automation-induced errors. In order to resolve these system-ergonomic problems, an Adaptive Assistance system is being developed that assesses the pilot's mental state and, based on this, supports the pilot. A pilot observation in the cockpit is implemented for this purpose, which measures the pilot's workload and situational awareness using psychological models and physiological measurements. Based on this, automation levels and assistance functions are adapted.