Publication:
PSYCHOLOGICAL EFFECTS ON UAV OPERATORS AND PROPOSED MITIGATION STRATEGIES TO COMBAT PTSD

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Authors
Campbell, Jamal M.
Subjects
drone pilots
posttraumatic stress disorder
PTSD
psychological effects
unmanned aerial vehicle
UAV
remote aircraft pilot
RPA
UAV operator
psychology
Advisors
Iatrou, Steven J.
Fisher, Edward L.
Date of Issue
2021-06
Date
Publisher
Monterey, CA; Naval Postgraduate School
Language
Abstract
Although unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) operators avoid exposure to many physical risks, they may be susceptible to the same psychological threats as conventional aircraft pilots in the field. This thesis analyzes case studies involving experiences of UAV operators suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with the intent to increase understanding of the psychological threats associated with piloting unmanned systems. Mitigation strategies found to combat PTSD include workload restructure, strategic counseling, and cortisol testing and therapy. Psychological distress that leads to PTSD can be prevented when conditions are structured with containment, intervention, and prevention in mind. Following the Government Accountability Office recommendations and applying scientific treatments and therapies, the U.S. Armed Forces has a chance to gain traction against its operator shortages without causing psychological distress to its personnel.
Type
Thesis
Description
Series/Report No
Department
Information Sciences (IS)
Organization
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NPS Report Number
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Distribution Statement
Approved for public release. Distribution is unlimited.
Rights
This publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
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