Measuring moment-to-moment pilot workload using synchronous presentations of secondary tasks in a motion-based trainer.Aviat Space Environ Med. 1989 Feb; 60(2):124-9.AS
A simulation was conducted to determine whether the sensitivity of secondary task measures of pilot workload could be improved by synchronizing their presentation to the occurrence of specific events or pilot actions. This synchronous method of presentation was compared to the more typical asynchronous method, where secondary task presentations are independent of pilot's flight-related activities. Twelve pilots flew low- and high-difficulty scenarios in a motion-base trainer with and without concurrent secondary tasks (e.g., choice reaction time, time production). The difficulty of each scenario was manipulated by the addition of 21 flight-related tasks superimposed on a standard approach and landing sequence. Secondary task performance did reflect workload differences between scenarios and among flight segments within scenarios, replicating the results of an earlier study in which the secondary tasks were presented asynchronously. In addition, the choice reaction time secondary task was also sensitive to the workload of specific activities within flight segments. Workload ratings were virtually identical between this and the earlier study.