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Allocation of Functions in a Far-Term Air Traffic Control Environment  (2011)
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A human-in-the-loop exploration of a ground- based automated separation assurance concept was conducted that involved the allocation of certain functions between humans and automation. This exploration included operations that were sustained for prolonged periods of time with high levels of traffic in the presence of convective weather and scheduling constraints. In this environment, the automation was allocated the functions of detecting separation conflicts, resolving strategic and tactical conflicts, providing trajectory trial planning assistance, and alerting the controller to urgent problems. The controller was responsible for supervising the automation, resolving conflicts deferred by the automation, resolving convective weather conflicts, monitoring and maintaining schedule compliance, and placing free track aircraft back onto their trajectory. An investigation into the acceptability of these roles and performance of tasks was conducted where it was found that the participants rated the concept and allocation of functions with a high level of acceptability. However, issues were encountered with the automation related to the detection of and response to tactical conflicts. Lower ratings were given on account of these concerns, and it was found that a key contributor to the underlying problems was transitioning aircraft and the uncertainty of their trajectories. Stemming from those results, participants responded that they would rather have direct control over aircraft transitions as well as more control over the tactical conflict resolution automation. In contrast, participants responded that they would rather have the automation place aircraft back on trajectory, and perform weather avoidance and scheduling tasks.
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Air, Allocation, Control, Environment, Far-Term, Functions, Traffic
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Proceedings of the 30th Digital Avionics Systems Conference, Seattle, Washington
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Adobe PDF Icon  J_Homola_etal_DASC2011.pdf (Download Acrobat Reader Click to download Adobe Acrabat Reader)
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Curator: Phil So
NASA Official: Jessica Nowinski
Last Updated: August 15, 2019