Design and Engineering

ISAE-SUPAERO and Dassault Aviation Renew Their Collaboration on the “Design & Architecture of Cognitive Air Systems” Research Chair

Aviation Collaboration
Dassault Aviation and ISAE-SUPAERO launched the "Design and Architecture of Cognitive Air Systems" teaching and research chair in 2016 to redefine the connection between crews and aviation systems. After some initial promising findings, the two aviation partners have decided to extend their collaboration for another three years.

This chair aims to investigate various aspects of human-machine collaboration, with its primary research fields including neuro-ergonomics, automated decision-making, and systems engineering. The goal is to improve civil and military aviation operations' reliability, efficiency, and safety while maintaining complete crew control. The systems considered are frequently used in difficult situations. They incorporate powerful automated decision-making algorithms from the field of artificial intelligence (AI) to help them carry out their missions more autonomously while remaining under human supervision.

The Department of Aerospace Vehicles Design & Control at ISAE-SUPAERO specializes in neuro-ergonomics and artificial intelligence for systems control. Neuro-ergonomics studies brain activity and user behavior during work. In practice, it entails assessing users' mental states in connection to their capacity to execute the tasks allocated. The field of artificial intelligence for system control is concerned with developing algorithms for automated decision-making. The collection of activities proposed to the operator is entirely automated to reduce the operator's workload and increase their performance in the operating context.

Jean-Louis Gueneau, Scientific Coordinator of the chair at Dassault Aviation, said, “Military aviation is a demanding area due to the variety and unpredictability of operations, which requires complex tactical management. Dassault Aviation is particularly interested in challenges concerning Human-Machine Interaction. The difficulty is to provide all of the services that Humans need to take on responsibility for this management. We are collaborating with ISAE-SUPAERO to discover the phenomena that influence crew-machine collaboration.”

The Human-Machine Interaction Research Chair developed various tools based on physiological measures, machine learning approaches, and automated action planning from 2016 to 2021. In addition, the teams concentrated on creating active and passive assistance services to assist pilots and operators improve their performance.

The initial focus was on "Pilot Monitoring" to better understand the crew's activities. In addition, experiments on simulators were undertaken with behavioral and physiological assessment instruments to determine metrics capable of evaluating the operator's performance and level of engagement or stress.

Dassault Aviation plans to integrate these features into civil and military aircraft within the next decade.

“This chair focuses on developing innovative technologies that help, on the one hand, to qualify human-machine interactions to check if they are efficient, and on the other hand, to automatically select what should be kept, offered, or altered to help the team work better.”

Caroline Chanel, Chair Manager at ISAE-SUPAERO

Qualitative metrics will be combined with physiological and quantitative behavioral metrics to evaluate the efficiency of Human-Machine cooperation. Ai algorithms will leverage this to enhance collaboration. These innovative subjects are of interest to researchers and industrial firms with the view of developing concrete applications for the long term.

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