Document Type


Date of Degree

Fall 2018

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Schnell, Thomas

First Committee Member

Andersen, David

Second Committee Member

Kruger, Anton

Third Committee Member

Kuhl, Jon

Fourth Committee Member

Kusiak, Andrew


Bringing airline pilots to remote locations for evaluation of new software/hardware tools and procedures is an expensive process in terms of both money and time. Estimating the design and outcome of a study to evaluate these new tools can be tricky as there are many new variables for which there is little to no data. However, sometimes even after careful vetting of scenarios in the simulator prior to bringing subject-matter experts into the simulation facility, few to no metrics of statistical significance can be found. While it may be valid that there are no metrics of statistical significance, it is perhaps a missed opportunity to take advantage of the precious time and resources of having a subject-matter expert at the research facility.

The research presented in this paper has developed a software tool for simulating a pilot’s visual perception of working in various configurations of cockpits. This may provide researchers insight into what types of scenarios and tactics would be of interest to use with real subject-matter experts. In other words, this should help identify the best use of resources to take advantage of having pilots at the facility and avoid scenarios/procedures that don’t generate data of interest.

Another useful possibility with this tool is identifying cockpits that may be inefficiently designed. Instruments that should be grouped together can be easily identified by analyzing the eye-scan pattern of the model with different cockpit-configuration files. The results that this new software-evaluation tool provides have implications for several different evaluations beyond estimating pilot reactions.


aviation, cognitive, pilot, Soar


xi, 91 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 90-91).


Copyright © 2018 Mathew Brian Cover