TU Delft
print this page print this page     
2016/2017 Aerospace Engineering Master Aerospace Engineering
Manual Control & Cybernetics
Responsible Instructor
Name E-mail
Dr.ir. D.M. Pool    D.M.Pool@tudelft.nl
Name E-mail
Dr.ir. M.M. van Paassen    M.M.vanPaassen@tudelft.nl
Contact Hours / Week x/x/x/x
Education Period
Start Education
Exam Period
Course Language
Expected prior knowledge
AE4302; AE4304; AE4316 (Aerospace Human-Machine Systems)
Course Contents
This course further explores the various aspects of manual control cybernetics and its applications in aerospace that were introduced in the AE4316 lecture series. Through a number of lectures, this course provides detailed practical information on the current state-of-the art methods based on cybernetics for measuring, analyzing, and modeling human manual control behavior and how such methods are applied in applications relevant to aerospace.

Furthermore, through extensive practical work, students will gain practical experience with manual control cybernetics through an experiment they need to plan and perform themselves. In this experiment, which will be performed in the Human-Machine Laboratory or the SIMONA Research Simulator at Aerospace Engineering, students will measure the effects of a certain variation in control task configuration (e.g., display configuration, simulator motion feedback setting) on the adopted manual control behavior, and draw conclusions based on their experimental measurements.
Study Goals
The learning objectives for AE4319 are:

1. Formulate a good research question and hypotheses for a manual control experiment.
2. Demonstrate understanding of the direct link between a manual control experiment’s independent, dependent and control variables and the data analysis that can be performed on its data.
3. Analyze data from a manual control experiment using state-of-the-art data analysis techniques and statistical tests.
4. Compare experimental findings with theoretical constructs and elementary models of human manual control behavior.
5. Critically reflect on the scientific conclusions drawn from a set of manual control experiment data and their reliability.
6. Reflect on the consequences of experiment design choices on the scope and validity of experiment results.
Education Method
Classroom lectures, twice a week, during the first two lecture weeks. After that, students will work in groups during lecture hours on a group practical assignment, consisting of formulating an experiment plan and performing an experiment in one of the simulation facilities at Control & Simulation.
Literature and Study Materials
The presentation slides of all lectures will be made available through Blackboard, in addition to scientific papers with background information on addressed topics.

Recommended reading for this course:
1. Jagacinski, Richard J., and John Flach. “Control theory for humans: Quantitative approaches to modeling performance”. Taylor & Francis, 2011.
2. Wickens, Christopher D., Lee, John D., Liu, Yili, and Gordon Becker, Sallie E.. “An Introduction to Human Factors Engineering”, Second Edition, Pearson Education Inc., 2004.
3. Field, Andy. “Discovering statistics using SPSS”. Sage publications, 2009.
No written exam. Instead, grading for AE4319 will be based on the quality of two deliverables: each group’s experiment plan (deadline end week 4.3, 20% of final grade) scientific article (deadline end of P4, 80% of final grade).
This course is an elective extension to the AE4316 (core) course for the C&S master profile. Prior knowledge from AE4316 is expected and mandatory.
Classroom lectures will be provided in the first two weeks. The following topics will be addressed in the lectures:

1. Introduction and experiment descriptions.
2. Experimental data analysis and statistics.
3. System identification techniques for manual control
4. Applications of manual control cybernetics.

In addition to the lectures, students work in small groups on a practical assignment. This effort includes: developing an experimental plan, collecting and analyzing data, and writing a scientific article.