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Першин Ю.Ю. Psycho-emotional disorders of UAVs’ operators (based on foreign sources): presentation of the problem

Published in journal "Вопросы безопасности", 2017-3 , pages 17-30.

Resume: The urgency of the study is determined by the growth of popularity of unmanned aerial vehicles (drones). Their use for military purposes causes certain problems, since one of the elements of the system of such an aircraft is a human-operator. The countries, which have been using such mechanisms for a long time, have significant experience of drones’ operators training, particular, the moral, ethical, and psychological problems they face. Therefore, it is necessary to consider this experience in relation to the growing role of UAVs and other remotely piloted aircrafts in Russia’s conditions. The research object is the materials of open foreign sources and special researches describing the conditions of work of officers-operators of UAVs of the United States Armed Forces. The research subject is the factors, which have negative impact on the work of operators and hamper the realization of their missions, and the possibility of use of the experience of the members of American Armed Forces and military psychologists in Russia for the improvement of the security of operators’ work. The author uses general scientific methods, particularly, the methods of theoretical research, the elements of the system-functional and structural-functional approaches, the elements of the comparative-historical method and general philosophical methods. The analysis of journalistic and scientific materials, considering this problem, shows that the growth of use of UAVs and RPAs, and the growth of the number of operators, similar problems can appear in the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. Consequently, bearing in mind the foreign experience, it is necessary to be ready to solve similar problems in Russia. Training of operators should be aimed at their adaptation to unfavorable work conditions, and at the elimination of most unfavorable factors, which can lead to psycho-emotional disorders of operators, thus impairing the effectiveness and safety of their work. 

Keywords: operational stressor, remotely piloted aircraft, remote war, distress, professional burnout, PTSD, drone, RPA (drone) operator, combat stressor, psychological stresses

DOI: 10.7256/2409-7543.2017.3.23194

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