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Publication Date

Summer 2013

Degree Type

Thesis - Campus Access Only

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Human Factors/Ergonomics


Kevin Jordan

Subject Areas

System science; Aerospace engineering


The subject of the current research was to examine the relationship between level of automation and failure frequency and their effect on performance in the context of a simulated terminal descent to the moon. The purpose of this experiment is to measure failure detection (and diagnosis) and flying performance of participants under two levels of automation and two levels of failure frequency. Goals are to evaluate pilots' performance of flying and landing on the lunar surface as they adapted to spacecraft failures and different spacecraft levels of automation. The study investigated how failure frequency affects failure detection, measured by D Prime, Decision Criterion, and A Prime. Results showed greater failure detection under a high automation condition. The results revealed a main effect for failure frequency, F(1, 8) = 5.457, p = 0.048. These results indicated there is evidence that failure frequency had a significant effect on participants' sensitivity (D Prime) to failures.