The Official Star Trek Movie Forum

The Official Star Trek Movie Forum > Star Trek > Off Topic Discussions > Should Computers Overrule Humans in Flight?
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 06-11-2009, 03:13 PM
Star Trek Viewer Star Trek Viewer is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,057
Question Should Computers Overrule Humans in Flight?

Airbus and Boeing have different philosophies when it comes to the ability of pilots to control their airplanes. Although Airbus has an emergency system called "Alternate Law," the basic framework of its computer control system is to prevent pilots from executing any maneuvers that the computer decides is "unlawful," or in other words, that it decides the airplane cannot handle. I understand that "Alternate Law" and "Direct Law" apply only when flight control computers are malfunctioning.

Boeing, on the other hand, allows pilots ultimate control over the aircraft. The computer can and does warn about certain maneuvers, as I understand it, but it does not have the ability to prevent pilots from executing any maneuver, regardless of how "unlawful" it is.

This is separate from the question of whether either manufacturer uses "fly by wire."

What do you think? Should computers or should human beings have the final say?

Last edited by Star Trek Viewer : 06-11-2009 at 03:17 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 06-11-2009, 03:39 PM
Gary Seven's Avatar
Gary Seven Gary Seven is offline
Lieutenant Commander
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Columbus, OH
Posts: 836
Default

Man needs to fly!

Computers can provide safeguards but should never take the place of the human pilot. While we presently employ unmanned drones for military recon missions in battle regions, we're seeing experimentation with fighter aircraft as well. I've got mixed feelings about this.

Technology could bridge the gap of man's limitations; such as pulling heavy g's in a performance environment. Tech could never replace a human actually being in theater to evaluate a situation, making a tactical response and adjust to any wildcard.

Pilots need to be in the cockpit, not seated in front of a monitor with a joystick.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 06-11-2009, 03:51 PM
Zardoz's Avatar
Zardoz Zardoz is offline
Federation Councillor
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Somewhere In The Future
Posts: 31,432
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Seven View Post
Man needs to fly!

Computers can provide safeguards but should never take the place of the human pilot. While we presently employ unmanned drones for military recon missions in battle regions, we're seeing experimentation with fighter aircraft as well. I've got mixed feelings about this.

Technology could bridge the gap of man's limitations; such as pulling heavy g's in a performance environment. Tech could never replace a human actually being in theater to evaluate a situation, making a tactical response and adjust to any wildcard.

Pilots need to be in the cockpit, not seated in front of a monitor with a joystick.
G7, so well put!!
__________________
"High Priestesses Of Zardoz" By Eliza's Starbase Of Avatars Copyright 2009."
"Zardoz Speaks To You, His Choosen Trek Fans."
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 06-18-2009, 12:44 PM
MrQ1701's Avatar
MrQ1701 MrQ1701 is offline
Vice Admiral
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Espanola, New Mexico
Posts: 3,940
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Seven View Post
Man needs to fly!

Computers can provide safeguards but should never take the place of the human pilot. While we presently employ unmanned drones for military recon missions in battle regions, we're seeing experimentation with fighter aircraft as well. I've got mixed feelings about this.

Technology could bridge the gap of man's limitations; such as pulling heavy g's in a performance environment. Tech could never replace a human actually being in theater to evaluate a situation, making a tactical response and adjust to any wildcard.

Pilots need to be in the cockpit, not seated in front of a monitor with a joystick.
While I agree with most of this, I disagree somewhat with the last sentence. With the human removed from the equation, fighters could be made to perform greater maneuvers without fear of the pilot blacking out. Sure, air superiority has become more of a strategic fight rather than a tactical one, long range detection and evasion are KING right now, but in the dog fighting world I think a drone could be king of the hill given the pilot behind the joystick has proper environment input. There is already technology that allows pilots greater visibility thru the use of in helmet displays and various movable cameras around the airplane. I don't see why that could not be used for drone piloting. Pilots rely on sensor feeds and data on their displays, it's not like the old days where a pilot is about to bomb a target and then sees with his own eyes that the place is school with bunches of kids running around and then he aborts the mission. Now of days high altitude cameras relay information to the pilot and "see" what the pilot can not. Porting that kind of realtime intelligence to a pilot behind a joystick is the same darn thing.

Now if the drone had NO human pilot sitting somewhere, THAT would NOT be good!!
__________________
To secure the peace is to prepare for war. -Metallica
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 06-18-2009, 04:27 PM
Akula2ssn's Avatar
Akula2ssn Akula2ssn is offline
Commander
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Seattle
Posts: 1,454
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrQ1701 View Post
While I agree with most of this, I disagree somewhat with the last sentence. With the human removed from the equation, fighters could be made to perform greater maneuvers without fear of the pilot blacking out. Sure, air superiority has become more of a strategic fight rather than a tactical one, long range detection and evasion are KING right now, but in the dog fighting world I think a drone could be king of the hill given the pilot behind the joystick has proper environment input.
It is generally true that without a pilot physically in the plane that it's easier to make a plane do much tighter maneuvers. However I was talking with one engineer who deals with the F-22 and he said with thrust vectoring systems like that on the American F-22 and the Russian Flanker variants, we can now make planes do extremely tight maneuvers without subjecting the pilot for extended periods of time to higher vertical oriented g-forces that lead to blacking out, because instead simply doing banking maneuvers to turn, a plane with thrust vectoring can essentially pivot to a certain degree (not truly pivot) and do so at low speeds. Strangely this system for maneuvering has been omitted from the F-35, of course the F-35 was not intended to master dog fighting to begin with.

I personally don't understand the physics behind the whole thing so I'm inclined to just go with what the engineer says. Even without a pilot you are still limited by the g-forces the vehicle is capable of sustaining.
__________________

"Don't confuse facts with reality."
-Robert D. Ballard

Last edited by Akula2ssn : 06-18-2009 at 05:25 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 06-18-2009, 06:30 PM
MrQ1701's Avatar
MrQ1701 MrQ1701 is offline
Vice Admiral
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Espanola, New Mexico
Posts: 3,940
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Akula2ssn View Post
It is generally true that without a pilot physically in the plane that it's easier to make a plane do much tighter maneuvers. However I was talking with one engineer who deals with the F-22 and he said with thrust vectoring systems like that on the American F-22 and the Russian Flanker variants, we can now make planes do extremely tight maneuvers without subjecting the pilot for extended periods of time to higher vertical oriented g-forces that lead to blacking out, because instead simply doing banking maneuvers to turn, a plane with thrust vectoring can essentially pivot to a certain degree (not truly pivot) and do so at low speeds. Strangely this system for maneuvering has been omitted from the F-35, of course the F-35 was not intended to master dog fighting to begin with.

I personally don't understand the physics behind the whole thing so I'm inclined to just go with what the engineer says. Even without a pilot you are still limited by the g-forces the vehicle is capable of sustaining.
Thrust vectoring has made a HUGE impact in the world of dogfighting. No matter the technology used to gain such maneuverability, the plane can usually handle more g-force than a human
__________________
To secure the peace is to prepare for war. -Metallica
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 06-11-2009, 03:58 PM
Akula2ssn's Avatar
Akula2ssn Akula2ssn is offline
Commander
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Seattle
Posts: 1,454
Default

Personally I don't care for the Airbus approach. From a business standpoint, the Airbus approach is potentially more appealing in that you don't necessarily need pilots to maintain certain flight proficiency standards which reduces cost of overhead.

With the Boeing approach, you do have to maintain a certain proficiency level, and pilots are suppose to regularly enter the simulator to train in emergency procedures. Also the pilot is required to be in direct control of the plane for a certain amount of hours rather than sitting there with the computer in control. Boeing establishes certain course criteria the pilots must meet in their training otherwise they are grounded. Boeing does make its simulators available to the airlines for training. Furthermore, major airlines also purchase the simulators from Boeing, and usually make the simulators available to airlines that can't afford to buy their own simulator. Naturally to maintain pilots of that level of proficiency, it costs more money which cuts into profits. And personally I wouldn't want to have to wait for an unpredictable catastrophic systems failure in order to arrest control from the computer.
__________________

"Don't confuse facts with reality."
-Robert D. Ballard
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 06-11-2009, 04:16 PM
NCC-73515's Avatar
NCC-73515 NCC-73515 is offline
Fleet Admiral
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Heidelberg, Germany
Posts: 7,207
Default

No skynet, please
__________________


"English! I thought I dreamed hearing it!"?
Khan, Space Seed (TOS)

Brought to you in living color by NCC.
-= first fan member =-

Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 06-11-2009, 04:24 PM
Akula2ssn's Avatar
Akula2ssn Akula2ssn is offline
Commander
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Seattle
Posts: 1,454
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by NCC-73515 View Post
No skynet, please
For some reason that just put this image in my head of some pilots sitting there with the plane on autopilot and downloading porn resulting in a virus getting into the computer.
__________________

"Don't confuse facts with reality."
-Robert D. Ballard
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 06-11-2009, 04:26 PM
Sohna's Avatar
Sohna Sohna is offline
Lieutenant, Junior Grade
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
Posts: 217
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Star Trek Viewer View Post
the basic framework of its computer control system is to prevent pilots from executing any maneuvers that the computer decides is "unlawful," or in other words, that it decides the airplane cannot handle.
And what happens when this control system malfunctions?

Sorry, why bother having pilots at all if they are not permitted to make judgment calls? Give them the information and let them decide whether the risk needs to be taken. Otherwise you could end up with a situation where a plane crashes because evasive action would exceed design standards (which are usually written with a good bit of leeway).
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 08:31 PM.


Forum theme courtesy of Mark Lambert
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright © 2009 by Paramount Pictures. STAR TREK and all related
marks and logos are trademarks of CBS Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved.