Ecological interface design: Control space robustness in future trajectory-based air traffic control decision support
Paper in proceedings, 2014
The current evolution of the Air Traffic Management system towards trajectory-based operations is foreseen to bring large changes to the work domain of the Air Traffic Controller. Although this new form of Air Traffic Control leans heavily on the introduction of advanced automation, the general consensus is that the human must remain actively involved in the decision-making loop, and retain the ultimate responsibility for the safety of operations. These responsibilities, together with the complexities of the new task, require the development of innovative decision support tools. In previous research, and following the principles of Ecological Interface Design, a constraintbased decision support tool has been developed for the task of strategic trajectory manipulation. Rather than presenting discrete optimized solutions to the controller, this Travel Space Representation visualizes the constraints for safe control in the form of a set of 'go' and 'no go' areas. A validation experiment demonstrated that when using this tool, controllers sometimes opted for controlling close to the boundaries of safe control, or for resolutions in narrow control spaces. These results gave rise to concern that such a representation could actually work against the flexibility of the system to cope with inherent system variability. In this study, a metric and two measures have been developed in order to quantify and compare trajectory-based robustness to probabilistic disturbances. A batch-analysis has been performed to investigate how these measures vary for a crossing pair of aircraft under various geometry. Results show that the metric captures additional information which is currently not represented in the tool. When visualized to the controller, this could support them to choose more robust control strategies. © 2014 IEEE.
Ecological interface design
Air traffic management
Controller decision support tools