LOKI: Collaboration between aviation operators and AI systems

Artificial intelligence will play a decisive role in automated systems of the future. Humans will work in collaboration with these systems in order to perform everyday tasks. Activities in the most varied work domains, such as aviation, medicine or space travel, as well as those in everyday life, will be characterised through an interaction with AI systems. The project "Kollaboration von Luftfahrt-Operationen und KI-Systemen" (Collaboration of aviation operations and AI systems, LOKI), launched in 2022, will pool interdisciplinary research work until 2026, whereby the focus will be on areas of activity in air-traffic management in which operators work collaboratively with AI systems.

This project revolves around humans as users of AI systems and the question as to how acceptance, comprehensibility, satisfaction and predictability can be ensured for the users of such systems. For example, the integration of learning algorithms into existing adaptive assistance systems could improve their ability to adapt to human conditions.

With the aid of artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques, prototypes of digital air-traffic controllers and digital co-pilots will be developed, as well as the corresponding human-AI interfaces, which will enable the analysis and investigation of the collaboration between humans and machines. LOKI will develop guidelines for human-AI communication and collaboration, and for the derivation of requirements for users of AI systems in the selection and training of aviation personnel.

In this project, the Institute of Flight Guidance is developing demonstrators and prototypes of a digital controller and digital co-pilot that will act as a human partner to assist in the performance of various tasks. These systems will incorporate artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques to improve decision-making capabilities. An equally important component will be an efficient human-autonomy teaming design, which will allow humans to retain control over the AI systems whilst receiving adequate support as well as transparent information regarding the functions of these systems. The research team will incorporate feedback from end users (ATCOs and pilots) at various stages of the project, including design workshops and validation trials in our simulators.

LOKI (Collaboration of aviation operators and AI systems)

Institute of Aerospace Medicine (Coordinator)
Institute of Flight Guidance
Institute of AI Safety and Security
Institute of Data Science
Institute of Software Technology
Institute of Air Transport

2022 – 2026
Institutional funding


Sebastian Schier-Morgenthal

German Aerospace Center (DLR)
Institute of Flight Guidance
Controller Assistance
Lilienthalplatz 7, 38108 Braunschweig