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The Flight Guardian: Autonomous Flight Safety Improvement by Monitoring Aircraft Cockpit Instruments

Khan, Wasiq and Ansell, D and Kuru, K and Bilal, M (2018) The Flight Guardian: Autonomous Flight Safety Improvement by Monitoring Aircraft Cockpit Instruments. Journal of Aerospace Information Systems, 15 (4). pp. 203-214. ISSN 2327-3097

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Abstract

During in-flight emergencies, a pilot’s workload increases significantly and it is often during this period of increased stress that human errors occur that consequently diminish the flight safety. Research studies indicate that many plane crashes can be attributed to ineffective cockpit instrument monitoring by the pilot. This manuscript entails the development of Flight Guardian5 (FG) system being first of its kind that aims to provide efficient flight-deck awareness to improve flight safety while assisting the pilot in abnormal situations. The system is intended to be used in older aircrafts that cannot easily or cost effectively be modified with modern digital avionic systems. One of the important feature of FG system being not physically connected to the aircraft, avoids any impact on airworthiness or the need for re-certification. For the first time, a composite of techniques including video analysis, knowledge representation, and machine belief representations are combined to build a novel flight-deck warning system. The prototype system is tested in both; simulation based Lab and real flight environments under the guidance of expert pilots. The overall system performance is evaluated using statistical analysis of experimental results that proved the robustness of proposed methodology in terms of automated warning generation in hazardous situations.

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