Measurement and Modeling of Display Clutter in Advanced Flight Deck Technologies

Introduction

Method

Population

Six (n=6) male Captains, all with more than 15 years flying experience in commercial aircraft.

Equipment

A Boeing 757 fixed flight simulator was used for the research project, fitted with a Head's Up Display (HUD) unit. Based at the NASA Langley Research Center.

Scenario

The test pilot would be asked to fly an Instrument Landing System (ILS) approach into Reno-Tahoe International Airport and land on 16R six times in various HUD configurations. The approach was broken into three segments (see below). All pilot aids in the cockpit such as the autopilot, auto-throttles, primary flight display (PFD), navigation display, flight management computer and the flight director were to be disabled throughout the test, so that the pilot relies solely on using the HUD for flight information. The co-pilot (a member of the research team) would be responsible for handing incoming and outgoing radio calls, and being responsible for setting flaps and the gear, as directed by the pilot.

Segement 1

PYRAM to Glideslope Intercept
The simulation would start with the aircraft at 8,500ft and have an indicated airspeed of 210kt. The pilot would be required to maintain a constant heading, so that the aircraft could intercept the glideslope required for the ILS approach into RNO. The pilot would then be required to configure the aircraft for landing, by slowing the aircraft to the final approach speed of 138kt and alerting the co-pilot to set the gears and flaps and handle all radio calls when required.

Segement 2

Glideslope Intercept to DICEY
For this portion of the test flight, the pilot's main job was to ensure the aircraft was established on the localiser, as the aircraft should already have been slowed to the final approach speed of 138kt and landing gear and flaps fully extended.

Segement 3

DICEY to Decision Height
While maintaing the localiser and glideslope. The pilot would have to make a "land" or "go-around" decision and verbalise their decision.

Variables

The head's up display would have the following 9 configurations:

High Clutter Medium Clutter Low Clutter
SV/EV/Tunnel/IMC Tunnel/PRIM IMC
SV/EV/Tunnel/PRIM SV/EV/PRIM SV/IMC
EV/IMC SV/Tunnel/IMC PRIM

SV: Synthetic Vision
EV: Enhanced Vision
Tunnel: Highway-in-the-sky guidance
IMC: Instrument meteorological condition
PRIM: Complete primary flight display symbology

The workload conditions would be simulated by increasing or decreasing crosswinds.

The simulator would be paused after completing each segment, for the pilot to note the ratings of clutter and workload. Once completing the test they gave comparison rankings of the workload factor and clutter importance.

Results

Clutter Ratings Mean Interpretation
Low 37.92 cell-content
Medium 59.79 cell-content
High 68.33 cell-content
cell-content cell-content cell-content
cell-content cell-content cell-content
cell-content cell-content cell-content
cell-content cell-content cell-content
cell-content cell-content cell-content
cell-content cell-content cell-content
cell-content cell-content cell-content
cell-content cell-content cell-content
cell-content cell-content cell-content
cell-content cell-content cell-content
cell-content cell-content cell-content
cell-content cell-content cell-content
cell-content cell-content cell-content
cell-content cell-content cell-content
cell-content cell-content cell-content
cell-content cell-content cell-content

Conclusion

References

  1. Alexander, A.L., Kaber, D.B., Kim, S.H., Stelzer, E.M., Kaufmann, K., & Prinzel, L.J. (2012). Measurement and Modeling of Display Clutter in Advanced Flight Deck Technologies. The International Journal of Aviation Psychology, 22(4), 299-318. doi: 10.1080/10508414

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License