1994-10-01

Development and Test of a Pilot Display for Surface Operations 942092

An airport surface operations (taxi) display is an electronically generated, graphic representation of airport layout data installed in the aircraft cockpit to assist pilots in navigating airport surfaces. This electronic airport map is intended primarily to improve the efficiency and safety of airport ground operations, especially at busy, complex, or unfamiliar airports.
Concepts for potential situational awareness and safety improvements on the airport surface, and low visibility guidance applications were developed. Surface operations display symbology, alphanumeric information, taxi map transformations, and other graphics issues were evaluated. Navigation equipment issues were also investigated with differential GPS being the obvious choice for position sensor. A set of in-house developed software tools was used to generate databases from Jeppesen data for several airports. Data accuracy requirements were addressed with earth model, survey and digitization errors being considered. Recommendations for the organization and contents of airport databases to support surface operations were made.
A prototype LCD display unit was built and surface operations display software developed to be used in Airport Surface Traffic Automation (ASTA) Trials in the presence of the FAA at the Atlantic City International Airport to prove these concepts. A data link implementation (RTCA/DO-219) is included for two-way communications with Air Traffic Control (ATC) and to uplink the positions of other vehicles/aircraft. This datalinked information includes assigned taxipaths and stop-bars which are displayed graphically.

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