Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

Michael E. Miller, PhD.


As the United States Department of Defense continues to increase the number of Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) operations overseas, improved Human Systems Integration becomes increasingly important. RPA systems rely heavily on distributed team communications determined by systems architecture. Two studies examine the effects of systems architecture on operator workload of US Air Force MQ-1/9 operators. The first study ascertains the effects of communication modality changes on mental workload using the Improved Research Integration Pro (IMPRINT) software tool to estimate pilot workload. Allocation of communication between modalities minimizes workload. The second study uses IMPRINT to model Mission Intelligence Controllers (MICs) and the effect of the system architecture upon them. Four system configurations were simulated for four mission activity levels. Mental workload, monitoring time and the number of delayed tasks were estimated to determine the effect of changing system architecture parameters. Literature and MIC interviews provided parameters for the model. The analysis demonstrates that the proposed changes have significant effects which, in some conditions, bring the overall workload function toward a proposed theoretical optimum.

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DTIC Accession Number