Accession Number:

ADA460886

Title:

Color and Visual Factors in ATC Displays

Descriptive Note:

Final rept.

Corporate Author:

FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION OKLAHOMA CITY OK CIVIL AEROMEDICAL INST

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2006-06-01

Pagination or Media Count:

22.0

Abstract:

Computer displays are one of the major sources of information for air traffic controllers to control traffic. Because the existing display technologies make it so easy to render color on computer monitors, color is being extensively used in air traffic control ATC displays. At present, the Federal Aviation Administration has no requirement for how color should be used in ATC displays. While the advantages of color may be apparent, many display designs suggest that ATC technology developers have not used basic human factors and color principles to optimize the advantages of color use in complex scenes such as those in the ATC environment. In addition, technology developers create their own unique color schemes. The lack of consistency in color use can be confusing. Moreover, little attention has been devoted to the potential negative effects of color use on controllers task performance. In this study, we investigated color use in ATC facilities to understand the ways color is being used, the associated benefits, and its influence on task performance. We found that, while color use has some advantages for information processing, such as reducing workload and saving time, it also has disadvantages and may introduce negative effects on task performance. We identified the benefits of color use and provided rationales for how to use color properly to optimize those benefits. We also analyzed the negative effects of color use with respect to associated cognitive factors. Finally, we derived two checklists that evaluate advantages and negative effects of color use in ATC displays. These checklists can be used for design prototypes and acquisition evaluation.

Subject Categories:

  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Computer Programming and Software
  • Air Navigation and Guidance
  • Human Factors Engineering and Man Machine Systems

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE