Aircraft Multifunction Display and Control Systems: A New Quantitative Human Factors Design Method for Organizing Functions and Display Contents.
ARMY AEROMEDICAL RESEARCH LAB FORT RUCKER AL
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The objectives of this study were to review the current state of aircraft multifunction display and control system MPDCS design methods and develop a quantitative method of designing MFDCSs that incorporate important human factors issues. Reports in the literature indicate that MFDCS design can influence flight performance. However, current design methods rely primarily on the designers intuition and experience. MFDCSs in aircraft cockpits use computer-generated graphics and symbology that have integrated and largely replaced the myriad discrete electromechanical flight instruments found in older aircraft. While much is known about the physical and visual properties of MFDCSs, less is known about which human factors are important for their design and use. MFDCSs may result in greater workload if the distribution of virtual instruments, graphical and text data, and control functions in an n-dimensional structure of display pages places excessive cognitive and psychomotor demands on pilots during either routine or emergency situations. A quantitative method was developed, involving the derivation of a weighted sum of separate cost functions, each of which incorporates the effects of an arbitrary number of human factors and MFDCS design guidelines. The method models, using a high level of abstraction, a pilots search for specific information or functions among alternative hierarchies of MFDCS display pages. An annealing algorithm was proposed as an effective numerical method for finding the display page hierarchy that minimizes the composite cost function.
- Flight Control and Instrumentation
- Human Factors Engineering and Man Machine Systems