Exploring Mixed Reality in General Aviation to Support Pilot Workload


Pilots in non-commercial aviation have minimal access to digital support tools. Equipping aircraft with modern technologies intro- duces high costs and is labor intensive. Hence, wearable or mobile support, such as common 2D maps displayed on standard tablets, is often the only digital information source used by pilots. Yet, they fail to adequately capture the 3D airspace and its surroundings, challenging the pilot’s workload. This work explores how mixed reality can support pilots by projecting supportive elements into their fields of view. Considering the design of a preliminary mixed reality prototype, we conducted a user study with twelve pilots in a full-sized flight simulator. Our measures show that the prototype positively influenced the participants’ situational awareness and overall landing routine efficiency, who also had generally favor- able views regarding mixed reality in the cockpit. This work shows the utility of mixed reality technologies while emphasizing future research directions in general aviation.

In Extended Abstracts of the 2023 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Christopher Katins
Christopher Katins
Doctoral Candidate & HCI Researcher