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LArge Passenger Aircraft Reliable Touch Screen.

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - LAPARTS (LArge Passenger Aircraft Reliable Touch Screen.)

Reporting period: 2018-03-01 to 2019-08-31

The purpose of LAPARTS is to develop a Touch Screen Control Panel (TSCP) system that can host all functionalities currently hosted on the Overhead Control Panel (OCP). The OCP today consists of numerous electro-mechanical switches, buttons, knobs and annunciators connected with discrete wires to the aircraft systems. The current state of art of OCPs has several issues with ergonomic, economic and environmental implications.
The TSCP system will address these issues while hosting highly safety critical functions. The TSCP system will be compatible with up to catastrophic failure conditions and will secure the control chain from the touch sensor to the controlled system and back to the display.
In a first phase (ending Aug. 2019), TSCP prototypes will be evaluated in an enhanced cockpit simulato, targeting an evolution of the cockpit for existing aircraft. In a second phase (ending end of 2023), the TSCP will be integrated and evaluated in a disruptive cockpit simulator, targeting a revolution of the cockpit for deployment in future aircraft at the longer term. The TSCP will be developed following a user centered design methodology paying a lot of attention to human factors and end user interests. LAPARTS will adopt a sophisticated combination of projected capacitive and force sensing technologies in the touch screen in order to achieve the required safety levels while preserving user comfort.
LAPARTS will contribute to WP3.1 of the LPA IADP (tactile HMI), including weight reduction, manufacturing and usage cost reductions and recommendations towards the certification authorities. LAPARTS will also advance touch screen technology for use in turbulence conditions and safety critical applications.
The following work has been realized for the enhanced cockpit phase:
• The project plan has been established and is describing the WBS, the schedule, the management plan and the identified risks.
• The System requirements have been defined. The Current A350 cockpit has been used as a use case and the requirements towards interfaces and functionalities have been formalized.
• The Human-Machine Interface concept has been defined. The list of functions to be realized has been established and several workshops and reviews with HMI experts and pilots have been realized to define the appropriate display configuration and interaction means. Focus has been put on reducing pilot workload and guarantee correct operation. The required safety features have also been identified. This activity resulted in defining the required widgets and various pages in order to support the overall control panel functions. Opportunities to implement context based features have also been identified.
• The preliminary safety analysis has been realized resulting in the definition of an architecture compliant with failure conditions up to catastrophic.
• Touchscreen technology to support multi-touch and catastrophic failure conditions has been further derisked. The appropriate technology to implement force sensing feature on top of traditional Projective capacitive touchscreen has been defined.
• 2 main prototypes have been developed:
o The Force sensing prototype consists in a display equipment with dedicated PCAP touchscreen augmented by an adaptive force sensing module and hosting an application demonstrating the usage of such function.
o The HMI prototype consists in a system of 3 touchscreen displays positioned in overhead location and an advanced application realizing critical control functions using a smart page concept.
• The overall enhanced cockpit phase has been concluded by a Validation and Verification activity realized according the V&V plan.
o On a mockup representative of the A350 cockpit, the first demonstrator has allowed us to evaluate the ergonomics of touch screen displays to control systems to study the feasibility of the replacement of the overhead panel. The overall concept of this demonstrator has given very good results in terms of HMI and robustness. This demonstrator has also proved that is possible to offer systems IHM in a reduced surface compared to the physical overhead panel.
o The second demonstrator provides the opportunity to evaluate the Force Sensing technology on a touch screen display to offer dissimilarity for critical commands and cope with safety objectives. The Force Sensing technology has given promising results from the performed tests.
• The results of these evaluations are used to identify the improvements to introduce during the disruptive cockpit phase.
The main progress beyond state of the art is related to the support of catastrophic failure conditions:
• A touchscreen based overhead control panel system architecture supporting catastrophic failure conditions has been established.
• The unique combination of adaptive force sensing technology with PCAP technology has been developed, derisked, demonstrated and validated.
• A new HMI to realize overhead control functions based on touchscreen technology has been developed, derisked, demonstrated and validated.
The expected impacts of this project are:
• A more efficient execution of flight, resulting in lower crew’s workload and improved safety.
• An easy and intuitive way to interact with the system through touchscreens
• A higher reliability and better maintainability
• A cost reduction of the overall control system
HMI evaluation
force sensing prototype