A Pilot Model for the NASA Simplified Aid for EVA Rescue (SAFER) (Single-Axis Pitch Task)

by Handley, Patrick Mark, M.S., UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, DAVIS, 2014, 51 pages; 1565672


This thesis defines, tests, and validates a descriptive pilot model for a single-axis pitch control task of the Simplified Aid for EVA Rescue (SAFER). SAFER is a small propulsive jetpack used by astronauts for self-rescue. Pilot model research supports development of improved self-rescue strategies and technologies through insights into pilot behavior.This thesis defines a multi-loop pilot model. The innermost loop controls the hand controller, the middle loop controls pitch rate, and the outer loop controls pitch angle. A human-in-the-loop simulation was conducted to gather data from a human pilot. Quantitative and qualitative metrics both indicate that the model is an acceptable fit to the human data. Fuel consumption was nearly identical; time to task completion matched very well. There is some evidence that the model responds faster to initial pitch rates than the human, artificially decreasing the model's time to task completion. This pilot model is descriptive, not predictive, of the human pilot. Insights are made into pilot behavior from this research. Symmetry implies that the human responds to positive and negative initial conditions with the same strategy. The human pilot appears indifferent to pitch angles within 0.5 deg, coasts at a constant pitch rate 1.09 deg/s, and has a reaction delay of 0.1 s.

AdviserRon Hess
Source TypeThesis
SubjectsAerospace engineering
Publication Number1565672

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