Human Pilot Control Adaptation: A Physiological Interpretation

Publication Date


Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Title

AIAA Science and Technology Forum and Exposition, AIAA SciTech Forum 2022




Manual control theory initially proposed that proprioception generated the highfrequency feedback required for precise limb motion with direct path compensation (derivative, multiplicative, and integral) provided by the central nervous system using the visual modality for state sensing. Based on the direct path approach, the Crossover Model (CM) provided an elegant functional objective for pilot adaption. Later, Hess’ pilot Structural Model (SM) integrated the rich spectrum of human sensory inputs available for control, providing the functional elements needed for executing compensation. Crucially, Hess proposed that the neuromuscular system was capable of emulating pilot-vehicle inner-loop rate feedback, thus shaping the open loop pilot-vehicle response to behave as rate commanded. This work examines the proprioceptive sensory paths available for neuromuscular compensation, vision’s role during manual control, and proposes how compensation may be physiologically carried out as processes internal to the pilot.


Research Foundation