The Role of Trust and Usability to Enable Spaceflight Crew Autonomy

Published in ASCEND 2022, 2022

Recommended citation: Marquez, J., Sullivan, D., & Karasinski, J. 2022. "The Role of Trust and Usability to Enable Spaceflight Crew Autonomy." In ASCEND 2022. (p.4262).

Paper Available Here

Abstract: Future long duration exploration missions will require an increased use of onboard automated systems as spaceflight crews venture further than before and have longer communications delays with ground support. The design of these systems must support appropriate crew trust and have sufficient usability to enable spaceflight crew autonomy or risk being misused while crews wait to communicate with ground support. We evaluated trust & usability in our self-scheduling tool, Playbook, for crew mission timelines. Data was collected in a controlled lab experiment with 31 participants. Participants in the study conducted two tasks: scheduling, where participants were responsible for scheduling a majority of a day’s operational tasks, and rescheduling, where participants were provided a schedule and asked to reschedule higher priority activities. We found a significant correlation between system trust and usability, irrespective of self-scheduling tasks. We conclude that system usability may play a bigger role in how trust is learned while conducting novel crew autonomy tasks such as self-scheduling. Future research should investigate the role of usability to encourage appropriate trust in onboard automated crew systems and enable crew autonomy.