Defining the levels of adjustable autonomy: a means of improving resilience in an unmanned aerial system
Chang, Ellen M.
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This thesis investigates how to design in different levels of autonomy to improve the resilience of an unmanned aerial system (UAS) by applying the Function-specific Level of Autonomy Tool (FLOAAT) developed by NASA. This tool helps to define the levels of autonomy human-operators are comfortable with as well as assists designers in understanding how to design in that level of autonomy. The thesis begins by reviewing past literature about resilience in engineered systems, defining terms pertaining to autonomy, introduces the concept of adjustable autonomy, and reviews the development supervisory control levels that define adjustable autonomy. It broadens the research that NASA performed and applies the tool to UAS functions. The extension of this thesis would lead to a more unified approach to defining levels of autonomy that can be adjusted for control of autonomous systems, and the development of components of software architecture that lead to greater systems resilience through integration of the human-operator in a way that is trusted. This effort is intended to create a foundation for human-centered automation to properly accommodate human-operator trust.
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