Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics

First Advisor

Curtis H. Spenny, PhD


The rise in the capability and lethality of unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) historically has been paralleled by an increase in the complexity of the command and control of these systems. This trend has continued with the command and control of the current fleet of unmanned aerial vehicles such as the Predator and Global Hawk. The control of these vehicles falls on the extremes on the manual vs autonomous spectrum. As the missions tasked to these vehicles increase in complexity and lethality, operators will increasingly require the ability to tailor the amount of control exercised over the vehicle. Maneuver Based Control (MBC) offers the potential to give future UCAV operators the ability to vary the autonomy of the vehicle against the amount of control they exercise over UCAV systems. The objective of this research is to validate the concept of Maneuver Based Control (MBC). This is accomplished under the umbrella of a conceptual UCAV mission. Particular attention is paid to the ability of this control scheme to increase operator situational awareness while decreasing the overall operator workload and required piloting skill. In addition, the ability to MBC to ensure effective control integrity over the vehicle is examined; ensuring that what vehicle does in response to a user's input is not divorced from the flight characteristics of vehicle.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number