Field Methods to quantify emergency responder fatigue: Lessons learned from sUAS deployment at the 2018 Kilauea Volcano Eruption


There has been increasing use of small unmanned aerial systems in disaster and incident response. We evaluated sUAS pilot states during the tactical response to the 2018 Kilauea Volcano Lower East Rift Zone event, using a 3-minute psychomotor vigilance test (PVT) and wrist worn heart rate sensor. The field data, collected over four days, indicated that the sUAS pilots did not recover to baseline vigilance and physiological levels. Some pilots stopped participating over time, owing to logistical constraints of performing the 3-minute PVT test. Additionally, all pilots refrained from rating their perceived workload levels. We summarize the utility of and challenges associated with collecting performance, physiological, and subjective measures of pilot fatigue during real disaster response.

IISE Transactions on Occupational Ergonomics and Human Factors