Effects of Unmanned Aircraft Voice Communication Delay on En Route Air Traffic Management Operations
AIAA AVIATION 2022 Forum
The present study investigated the effects of remotely piloted unmanned aircraft (UA) voice communication delay on air traffic management operations with different background sector traffic-volume levels. Three one-way UA voice delay lengths of 400, 900, and 2,000 milliseconds (ms) were tested, representing the currently estimated transmission delays for terrestrial, satellite communication (SATCOM), and long SATCOM Command and Control Link System, respectively. All delay values exceeded 390 ms, the FAA’s current requirement for the maximum communication latency in the National Airspace System. Eight retired en route air traffic controllers (ATCs) and eight remote pilots (RPs) participated in a human-in-the-loop simulation study, where a simulated UA flight transitioned through an Oakland en route low-altitude sector to a local non-towered airport. The results showed that, when the 2,000-ms voice delay was present, radio transmission step-ons and detect-and-avoid (DAA) alert level elevations increased. In addition, ATC workload, ATC acceptability for the UA, and RP acceptability for the DAA were negatively affected only when the UA had a 2,000-ms voice delay under the high traffic-volume condition, but not in the other conditions.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Miwa Hayashi, Jillian Keeler, Cynthia Wolter, and Wayne W. Bridges. "Effects of Unmanned Aircraft Voice Communication Delay on En Route Air Traffic Management Operations" AIAA AVIATION 2022 Forum (2022). https://doi.org/10.2514/6.2022-3760