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Information Requirements for Traffic Awareness in a Free-Flight Environment: An Application of the FAIT Analysis

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Final rept.

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The goals of the current research were 1 to identify the information necessary for the pilot of the air carrier to maintain traffic awareness, and 2 to apply and evaluate the utility of a cognitive task analysis called the Function Allocation Issues and Tradeoffs FAIT analysis Riley, 1993 in order to assess a system that included a free-flight traffic environment, a pilot, and a Cockpit Display of Traffic Information CDTI. One hundred information requirements were identified. The FAIT analysis indicated the following characteristics of the system are highly influential in a free-flight traffic environment weather, general piloting skills, time of day, terrain, ownship state e.g., altitude, attitude, speed, level of pilot mental workload, and perceived time pressure. Highly influential characteristics are important because they affect many other characteristics of the system. In using the FAIT analysis, characteristics are categorized as sensitive if they are affected by many other characteristics i.e., they are vulnerable. Results from the FAIT analysis suggested that the following characteristics were very sensitive type of action chosen by the pilot, level of pilot mental workload, appropriateness of planned action, ownship state, level of air traffic managers mental workload, accuracy of current machine model, and level of confidence in planned action. Furthermore, the FAIT analysis allowed an identification of potential tradeoffs in the system. Finally, the results indicated that, when compared with operator-driven system design issues, automation issues, and miscellaneous issues, training is the most important issue to address in a free-flight traffic environment. This paper addresses situation awareness SA as it relates to surveillance activities in commercial air carriers. The concept of SA and relevant literature are reviewed and critiqued.

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  • Military Aircraft Operations
  • Civil Engineering

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