Exploratory Analysis of Survey Data for Understanding Adoption of Novel Aerospace Systems

Lauren M Reddy, Purdue University


In order to meet the increasing demand for manned and unmanned flight, the air transportation system must constantly evolve. As new technologies or operational procedures are conceived, we must determine their effect on humans in the system. In this research, we introduce a strategy to assess how individuals or organizations would respond to a novel aerospace system. We employ the most appropriate and sophisticated exploratory analysis techniques on the survey data to generate insight and identify significant variables. We employ three different methods for eliciting views from individuals or organizations who are affected by a system: an opinion survey, a stated preference survey, and structured interviews. We conduct an opinion survey of both the general public and stakeholders in the unmanned aircraft industry to assess their knowledge, attitude, and practices regarding unmanned aircraft. We complete a statistical analysis of the multiple-choice questions using multinomial logit and multivariate probit models and conduct qualitative analysis on free-text questions. We next present a stated preference survey of the general public on the use of an unmanned aircraft package delivery service. We complete a statistical analysis of the questions using multinomial logit, ordered probit, linear regression, and negative binomial models. Finally, we discuss structured interviews conducted on stakeholders from ANSPs and airlines operating in the North Atlantic. We describe how these groups may choose to adopt a new technology (space-based ADS-B) or operational procedure (in-trail procedures). We discuss similarities and differences between the stakeholders groups, the benefits and costs of in-trail procedures and space-based ADS-B as reported by the stakeholders, and interdependencies between the groups interviewed. To demonstrate the value of the data we generated, we explore how the findings from the surveys can be used to better characterize uncertainty in the cost-benefit analysis of aerospace systems. We demonstrate how the findings from the opinion and stated preference surveys can be infused into the cost-benefit analysis of an unmanned aircraft delivery system. We also demonstrate how to apply the findings from the interviews to characterize uncertainty in the estimation of the benefits of space-based ADS-B.




Delaurentis, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Aerospace engineering

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