RPA: Rotorcraft Pilot's Associate
The goal of the RPA is to determine the current and near-future tasks of the crew, and then to develop a cockpit configuration to meet the needs of those tasks.
While employed at Honeywell, SIFT personnel were responsible for the design of the Cockpit Information Manager (CIM) module of the Rotorcraft Pilot’s Associate (RPA). The cockpit information manager (CIM) is responsible for determining the current and near-future tasks of the crew, and then developing a cockpit configuration to meet the needs of those tasks. A CIM algorithm determines the optimal configuration after performing a tradeoff analysis and obtaining the best goodness of fit score. A cockpit configuration consists of an allocation of all active tasks to some mixture of cockpit actors (the two pilots and automation), and an allocation of information presentations to the available cockpit display and control devices to facilitate task performance. The Cockpit Controls and Displays and Mission Processing Logic is then responsible for issuing the appropriate low-level avionics commands to achieve the tasks and cockpit configurations commanded by CIM. Full-mission simulations were conducted at Boeing Mesa in February and March, 1998, which showed a significant reduction in workload. Qualitative findings showed that the CIM was of considerable use to pilots by displaying the right information to them at the right time.