Fricke, M., Dehn, D., Müller, T. (2000):
"Co-operative Air Traffic Management - Human Factor Aspects of Air/Ground Data Link and Multi-Sector Planning",
Fortschritt-Berichte VDI, Reihe 22 Nr. 4, Düsseldorf: VDI Verlag 2000, ISBN 3-18-300422-4.


Booklet (english, 78 pages) <2000_vdibooklet_fog.pdf> (1,53MB)


Co-operative Air Traffic Management - Human Factor Aspects of Air/Ground Data Link and Multi-Sector Planning

(Summary:) This report summarises the work of the interdis­cipli­nary research group ”Human-machine interaction in co-operative systems of flight guidance and air traffic control” which was founded in 1996 at the Berlin Univer­sity of Technology under the auspices of Prof. Dr.-Ing. Manfred Fricke.
In order to develop the capacity to tackle increases in air traffic, the research group proposes an innovative concept for air traffic management. The concept attempts to optimise air traffic flow in an area that comprises several conventional control sectors. This air traffic management is characterised by two main features: (1) the introduction of a new ground control authority, called multi-sector-planner, and (2) the use of an air/ground Data Link for the exchange of information. In order to optimise air traffic flow, the multi-sector-planner negotiates alternative flight plans for conflicting aircraft with both the cockpit crew and the air traffic controllers involved (in so-called flight plan negotiations). In doing so, the multi-sector-planner solves conflicts between aircraft before they enter the control sector in which the conflict would occur. This process of conflict detection and solution requires continuously updated information on the aircraft’s exact position, on tactical commands from radar controllers, and on flight plan data. For this reason, the research group proposes a digital Data Link for the exchange of information between air and ground systems as well as for communication between human operators.
The proposed ATM concept changes the tasks to be carried out by single operators as well as the communication and distribution of information between them. In order to assess the impact of these changes on the safety of the human-machine system, empirical studies were conducted. As an evaluation criterion for the human-machine system, we propose the concept of dependability. Dependability comprises both the characteristics of technical systems (such as functionality and usability) and of human operators (such as qualification and situation awareness).
The technical developments of the airborne system (e.g., modifications of the ND and MCDU for Data Link-communication) and of the ground systems (work stations for air traffic controllers and the multi-sector-planner) are described. These systems were tested in several usability studies. For each of the different operators in the concept, we describe the changes in task demands (in the case of the cockpit crew and air traffic controllers) or the complete task (in the case of the newly designed job of the multi-sector-planner).

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