SDS International (SDS) recently completed delivery of one of its ROVATTS(tm)-based Mission Training Devices (MTDs) for use by the University of North Dakota's Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems Research, Education and Training, Grand Forks, ND in a research partnership with the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL), 711th Human Performance Wing, Warfighter Readiness Research Division. Under that partnership, UND plans to use the MQ-9 MTD to address a variety of unmanned airraft systems (UAS) training issues including the development of methods to aid in event sequencing, mission rehearsal, and self-instruction of pilots and sensor operators. In addition, the MTD is expected to help assess and evaluate techniques and methodologies for UAS training, to help identify needed curricular interventions, and to track their effectiveness.
Previously, two ROVATTS-based MTD simulators, connected to the UND ATC Radar Laboratory, were used to conduct scenario testing of UAS operations within an Air Traffic Control environment. Once appropriately trained, research flights were conducted by Certified Flight Instructors from UND Aerospace Flight Operations and students enrolled in the University's Bachelor of Science in Aeronautics degree in Unmanned Aircraft Systems Operations. The use of the MTD as a laboratory asset is also developing in other human factors research projects, such as the comparison of pilot flight parameters in manned aircraft versus unmanned aircraft simulators, the study of object identification by sensor operators, the development of procedures to change course or targets as directed by ATC or other commanding agencies, and the use and assessment of motion sensory cueing devices.
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