Psychosocial Effects of Remote Operations

Nancy Cooke, Kristen Barrera, Howard Weiss, Claude Ezzell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


The technology touted for keeping humans out of harm's way, may work for physical harm, but not necessarily psychological harm, which may even be exacerbated by Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) technology. In this chapter we focus on factors associated with psychological and social effects (i.e., psychosocial) for those operating RPAS with an emphasis on the military operations. Psychosocial effects that include stress reactions, fatigue, feelings of guilt, and social conflict are important considerations for Human Systems Integration (HSI). RPAS operations are unique and at the same time challenging for a number of reasons including remote sensing, remote acting, the erratic pace of work, lack of social support, and technological usability issues. We reason that only the first two are essential features of the RPAS environment. The other features are contingent and are thus prime targets for improving the RPAS and mitigating some of the negative psychosocial effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRemotely Piloted Aircraft Systems
Subtitle of host publicationA Human Systems Integration Perspective
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781118965900
ISBN (Print)9781118965917
StatePublished - Aug 30 2016


  • Burnout
  • Career progression
  • Fatigue
  • Mental Health
  • Post-traumatic stress
  • Social support
  • Stress
  • Work-family balance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)


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