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05Information Requirements and Sharing for NGATS Function Allocation Concepts

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M.J. Smith and G. Salvendy (Eds.): Human Interface, Part II, HCII 2009, LNCS 5618, pp. 776–785, 2009. © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009 Information Requirements and Sharing for NGATS Function Allocation Concepts Nhut Tan Ho1, Patrick Martin2, Joseph Bellissimo2, and Barry Berson2 1 California State University Northridge (CSUN), Dept of Mechanical Engineering 2 CSUN Dept of Human Factors and Applied Psychology 18111 Nordhoff Street, Northridge, CA 91330-8348, USA {nhuttho,patrick.martin.855,joseph.bellissimo.51}@csun.edu Abstract. To support the evaluation of feasible function allocation concepts for separation assurance systems, and to develop a better understanding of the specific information requirements for key tasks (resolving conflicts, avoiding weather, and merging and spacing), air traffic controllers and commercial pilots were interviewed for their goals, sub-goals, and the individual and shared information needed to perform the tasks. The key information requirements obtained can be used as input to ascertain which information is most needed for probing when measuring individual and shared situation awareness. The elicitation also provided insights into the interaction among the controllers, pilots, and automation, and their perception of the concepts’ feasibility. Keywords: information requirements, NGATS, allocation function, shared situation awareness, automation interaction. 1 Introduction In the next two decades, the air traffic in the National Airspace System (NAS) is projected to increase two to three fold. To accommodate this growth, transformations in the air traffic management (ATM) architecture and operational concepts have been proposed for implementation in the NAS under the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NGATS) by 2005 [1], [2]. Some of the new NGATS key capabilities include: 1) trajectory-based operations (TBO) that enable users to dynamically assess changes in four-dimensional trajectories and allocate the resources to meet their demands; and 2) advanced net-centric and shared situational awareness (SA) systems for providing and sharing real-time weather, traffic, and flight information among all users. TBO implementation assumes that automation will take on a larger role in managing real-time operations, and that air traffic control shifts from tactical control of individual aircraft to strategic management of traffic flow and separation, while tactical separation assurance may be delegated to pilots or to airborne or ground-based automation systems. The implementation of these shared SA systems offers controllers and pilots a common picture of the operational information necessary for them to perform their allocated roles and responsibilities.Information Requirements and Sharing for NGATS Function Allocation Concepts 777 To transition to TBO operations it is crucial to determine the appropriate function allocation among the controller, the pilot, and automation in the flight deck and on the ground, and to determine what information should be shared between the controller and the pilot so that they can acquire and maintain sufficient shared situation awareness without being overloaded with information. These issues were preliminarily explored in this paper through the identification of the most relevant individual and shared information requirements (IR) for pilots and controllers for three specific tasks, and their interaction with each other as well as with automation for three viable function allocation concepts that are currently being investigated by NASA researchers [3],[4]. The results of this effort can be used as input to develop measurements of individual and shared situation awareness by probing the information that is most relevant to specific tasks, and to design experimental simulation studies that evaluate the viability of the function allocation concepts. The rest of the paper is organized as follows. The next two sections describe the three function allocation concepts and the method used to elicit information from subject matter experts. The last section discusses the key findings and recommends ways to incorporate them into future studies and system design concepts. 2 Function Allocation Concepts Three function allocation concepts that are currently being investigated by NASA and academic researchers were used as the context to elicit information from subject matter experts. These concepts were designed with a human-centered approach that allocates different functions (via roles and responsibilities) and workload levels among pilots, controllers and the automation in the flight deck and on the ground. Depending on the function allocation, the interaction between the controller and the pilot will be different, providing a rich area to study the sharing of SA information. These are the common assumptions for the three concepts: 1. All aircraft have the capability to communicate and exchange information with ATC through Controller Pilot Data Link Communications (CPDLC) and Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcasting (ADSB). 2. All aircraft have a cockpit situation display (CSD) on board integrated with a route assessment tool (RAT) and a 3D-weather display [5]. Using the RAT, the pilot can manually make changes to the trajectory to avoid conflicts and weather. 3. There are two groups of aircraft operating in the airspace: a) trajectory flight rule (TFR) aircraft have the capability to detect and resolve conflicts; and b) managed rule aircraft (MMR) are managed by ATC and do not have conflict detection capability. 4. Both TFR and MMR aircraft are involved in merging and spacing operations. 5. The ground and airborne auto-resolver system uses the NASA Advanced Airspace Concept (AAC) [6], [7] algorithm for detection and resolution of conflicts more than 12 minutes from loss of separation (LOS), and the Tactical Separation Assisted Flight Environment (TSAFE) algorithm for avoidance of conflicts less than 3 minutes to LOS. The auto-resolver tools on the ground and in the flight deck do not take weather into account; thus, pilots must ensure all resolutions are weather free.778 N.T. Ho et al. 6. To resolve a conflict, the TFR pilot can use either the airborne auto-resolver on board to generate a conflict-free resolution and check for weather-free, or the RAT to do the same tasks. Similarly, the controller can use either the ground-based auto-resolver to generate resolutions and check for


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