The Touch-Sensitive Control/Display Unit: A Promising Computer Interface 831532
Installation of a touch-sensitive control/display unit (touch-CDU) could improve the operational reliablility of future aircraft cockpits, providing that basic human factors issues are addressed early in the development phase of this device. The touch-CDU could be implemented with electronic displays to help: (1) reduce peak workload levels, (2) improve situational awareness, (3) improve the mental set of command and control over the process of flight, (4) reduce the number of controls outside of the optimum eye-hand envelope, (5) reduce crew error due to data-entry, (6) encourage cockpit designers to employ a systems approach. Although the technology exists to implement touch-CDUs in aircraft, several problem areas need to be studied: (1) the effects of turbulence, (2) glare and reflections, (3) cockpit location and orientation to the operator, (4) electronic display formats compatible with touch-entry activities. It is concluded that touch-CDUs offer a promising man/machine interface for aircraft cockpits, provided that adequate developmental testing is performed.