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M I T I n t e r n a t i o n a l C e n t e r f o r A i r T r a n s p o r t a t i o n Influence of Structure on Complexity Management Strategies of Air Traffic.

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Presentation on theme: "M I T I n t e r n a t i o n a l C e n t e r f o r A i r T r a n s p o r t a t i o n Influence of Structure on Complexity Management Strategies of Air Traffic."— Presentation transcript:

1 M I T I n t e r n a t i o n a l C e n t e r f o r A i r T r a n s p o r t a t i o n Influence of Structure on Complexity Management Strategies of Air Traffic Controllers Hayley J. Davison & R. John Hansman Massachusetts Institute of Technology Joint University Program- MIT 2002 October 17, 2002

2 Motivation  Need for a clear understanding of how air traffic controllers manage the complexity of the situation within their airspace to aid the design of:  Decision support tools  Information systems  Restructured airspace

3 Methodologies  Exploratory Field Study at Boston TRACON  Investigated use of structure in projection task  Modeling efforts based on field observations  Initial voice communications analyses to investigate hypotheses

4 Process Model  Focus of complexity management investigation will be on the projection task Reynolds, et al., 2002

5 TRACON ATC Process Model Communication System Pilot Other Controllers Supervisor TRACON ATC Workstation RadarFDIO Meteorological System Mental Model Structure Update Information Perceive Information Gather & Comprehend Information Project to identify conflict Plan possible solution Coordinate Sector Plan Heuristics Airspace Procedures Situation Awareness FMS Flight Control System Aircraft Dynamics Air Traffic Controller Aircraft Monitor info systems Respond to emergencies

6 Possible ATC Projection Strategies  Aircraft relative strategy  Clear aircraft for same speed across sector such that with each time update, all aircraft progress equally relative to one another  Target timing strategy  Clear individual aircraft with speeds such that aircraft approach a critical point in sequence with ample separation or Increase speed… Reduce speed…

7 Position Projection in ATC  t is the time of interest  projected trajectory until P(x,y,z) equals another aircraft’s position or until aircraft reaches target point + Lateral velocity V(z) = 0 (for non-transitional behaviors) Lateral position Vertical position t P(x) P(y) P(z) = =V(x) V(y) = Position after t

8 Projection Task of the Controller Aircraft i Pilot i Aircraft j Aircraft k FMS/ MCP Radar Controller’s Projection Task flight plans Winds Flight Control System clearance intent Aircraft dynamics Lateral position Nominal Transitional Flight information: equipage, a/c type, ID number Pilot information: experience, other? Wind info. Aircraft i Aircraft l Aircraft k Aircraft j Sector Plan Aircraft l Vertical position Lateral velocity Time of interest Vertical velocity Other active transitional variables

9 Research Hypothesis  Initial findings from preliminary field study suggest that: Controllers reduce the complexity of the projection task through application of structure, which reduces the 4-D projection task to a lower dimension projection task

10 Effect of Lateral Structure  Standard routing reduces possible lateral trajectories in time from infinite to 3 or 4 options (depending on aircraft type & runway config.)

11 Effect of Vertical Structure  Approach plate altitudes & standard altitude feeds from other sectors reduce possible vertical trajectories from infinite to between 1-6

12 Effect of Structured Velocity  Proceduralized approach speeds reduce the possible velocities of the aircraft from kts to 1 speed 250+ kts 210 kts

13 Effect of Structure on Aircraft Dynamics Projection  In a nominal trajectory, the structure provided allows the controller to use (in the simplest case) a linear 1-D projection to determine future position of the aircraft + Assigned speed V(z)=0 Standard Lateral Route 1 of 6 assigned standard altitudes t P(x) P(y) P(z) = =V(x) V(y) =

14 Voice Analysis Results  Speed structured by feed controller  Structure was immediately imposed on aircraft in vertical domain (most frequently the 1st command given) then in the lateral domain (most frequent 2 nd command given)

15 Future Work  Further Voice Communications Analyses  Experimental tests of hypothesis:  Perform experiment measuring controllers’ performance controlling simulated air traffic under varying levels of structure  Use findings to increase effectiveness of the design of  Decision support tools  Information systems  Restructured airspace


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