Browse Publications Technical Papers 2000-01-5573

Information Requirements for Traffic Awareness in the Free-flight Environment 2000-01-5573

The goals of the current research were (1) to identify the information necessary for the air carrier pilot to maintain “traffic awareness” in a system that included a free-flight traffic environment, a pilot, and a Cockpit Display of Traffic Information (CDTI) and (2) to apply and evaluate the utility of the Function Allocation Issues and Tradeoffs (FAIT) analysis (Riley, 1993). One hundred information requirements were identified.
The FAIT analysis indicated the following characteristics of the system are highly influential in a free-flight traffic environment: Weather, General piloting skills, Time of day, Terrain, Ownship state (e.g., altitude, attitude, speed, etc.), Level of pilot mental workload, and Perceived time pressure. In addition, the FAIT analysis suggested that the following characteristics are very sensitive: Type of action chosen by the pilot, Level of pilot mental workload, Appropriateness of planned action, Ownship state, Level of air traffic managers' mental workload, Accuracy of current machine model, and Level of confidence in planned action. In more general terms, the FAIT analysis indicated that pilot characteristics were both more influential and more sensitive than either environment or machine characteristics. Although the FAIT analysis identified numerous potential system tradeoffs, no pair of characteristics represented a pure tradeoff. However, the FAIT analysis identified several pairs of characteristics that had unstable relations (i.e., under some circumstances, they have a direct relation, and under other circumstances, they have a tradeoff relation). Overall, relative to operator-driven system design issues, automation issues, and other issues, the FAIT analysis revealed training as the most important issue to address in a free-flight traffic environment.
These findings indicate that the FAIT analysis is a useful tool. For example, only 28 of the 100 information requirements identified from the present research were defined in related, previous research (i.e., Endsley, Farley, Jones, Midkiff, & Hansman, 1998; Endsley & Rodgers, 1994), suggesting that the FAIT may have advantages relative to traditional task analyses in the identification of information requirements. The FAIT also has the added utility of providing information beyond that of the traditional task analyses (e.g., sensitivity and influence ratings, identification of tradeoffs, etc.).


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