Concept for an Avionics Multi Touch Flight Deck 2012-01-2120
Touch screen technology has experienced significant improvements recently, evolving to several solutions that are rugged enough to be introduced into the cockpit. A practical setup has been worked out consisting of four large PFD/MFD screens and two Touch Screen Control Units (TSCU's) which are positioned at the location of the classic CDU in the cockpit. All display surfaces have multi-touch capability. Apart from serving as a technology demonstrator, the setup will be used as a scientific test bed.
The goal of this study is to identify the benefits and optimize the usage of multi-touch screens in a cockpit environment. The focus is on creating a more intuitive operation and increasing the situation awareness. To investigate and demonstrate this, dedicated touch screen gestures were implemented and specialized flight deck applications were developed that facilitate direct manipulation of the flight plan. The PFD application is augmented with a Synthetic Vision System and integrates the tunnel-in-the-sky concept. As all screens are interconnected, collaboration between them is possible thanks to the touch screen interface.
In addition, the setup will be used to investigate the general applicability of multi-touch screens in the cockpit. Aspects of the research will include the effects of the location of the screen in combination with accelerations and rotations due to aircraft movement on the accuracy of the touch screen operation in general and the applicability of multi-touch gestures in specific. This investigation will be performed in a later stadium.
This paper will present the basic ideas of the concept, clarify the setup and explain how the touch-enabled applications work. The benefits will be highlighted as well as the drawbacks and need for future development work.