Information Automation on the Flight Deck in the Context of Trajectory based Operations

Due to continued growth of the current air transportation system, in several areas, the demand of the system often exceeds the available capacity of the system, resulting in significant negative consequences. The transformation of the current clearance-based air traffic management (ATM) system into a future Trajectory based Operation (TBO) system is a consequence of the overarching goals defined by the European Sky ATM Research (SESAR) and Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen). The achievement of an increase in capacity and efficiency while maintaining safety requires a tough integration of new procedures and technologies as figured out in 4D TBO.
The review of the SESAR and NextGen programs clearly identify, that the transformation to 4D TBO is the basic element. This key element of 4D TBO will be used in this PhD research work to analyze how 4D TBO concept can be integrated into future flight decks without increasing the human’s workload.
This project is aligned with the SESAR objectives of ATM and Automation and will produce results, which can interlink with other projects performed with the HALA! Network.

The purpose of the work is to analyze the required information for 4D TBO on the flight deck and to develop a future flight deck design demonstrator.

The overall PhD research question is to analyze, how automation can be used to integrate the required information for 4D TBO into the flight deck without increasing the cockpit crews workload. The thesis will be a human centered cockpit system analysis to design and develop a concept, supporting all needs of the cockpit crew under 4D TBO and maintaining the workload. The research work is grouped into three main activities. The first part is to evaluate and analyze the required information for 4D TBO on the flight deck including a hierarchical task analysis, the second part will be a conceptual phase to define the information processing and presentation on the flight deck and the last element will be an experimental scenario using flight simulator trials. The information processing and implementation will use a completely new information presentation instead of integrating additional information into the current flight deck design. The information processing and presentation, including the conceptual phase will be based on the results of the information analysis and expert surveys to support the flight crew workflow and the process of decision-making.

State of the research
The analysis of the available information on the flight deck is finished, the questionnaire based on these results developed and the next step will be to analyze and evaluate the results. Parallel the integration and level of automation for the information processing and presentation on the flight deck will be developed. The next step will be a first demonstrator to present the results of the analysis carried out.

Expected results
A future cockpit design demonstrator for 4D TBO.

SESAR Joint Undertaking, European ATM Master Plan, Edition 2, 2012
NCOIC, Comparison of the SESAR and NextGen Concepts of Operations, Version 1.0, 2008