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Content archived on 2024-04-16

Future ATC, new systems and technologies impacts on cockpit


To establish the integration into civil aircraft flight decks of new systems and advanced ATC procedures and analyse usage of new technologies in cockpit design. Expected improvements in flight deck design will be due to 2 different reasons:
The emergence of advanced Air Traffic Control related systems and functions, with new aspects of control and display for pilots.
The use of new techniques and technologies to improve the way in which pilots control the aircraft.
The current increase in air traffic leads to the question of the augmentation of the airspace capacity. One solution consists in reducing airplane separation. The consequence is the need for:
airborne collision avoidance system;
accurate aircraft localization;
enhanced air traffic control (ATC) systems to estimate and monitor aircraft trajectories;
data link and aeronautical telecommunications network (ATN) to allow air to ground data exchange. Digital communications dedicated to ATC purposes were studied from the ergonomics point of view. As a result, the technical requirements of an open system interconnection (OSI) and ATN were identified. Also proposals were made for avionics architecture systems and for equipment to control the communications and information processing. The traffic collision avoidance system (TCAS) II, which indicates to pilots avoidance manoeuvres in the vertical plane was compared with TCAS III, which will provide avoidance manoeuvre indications in the horizontal and vertical planes. The methods of displaying the indications provided by the logic to the pilots was studied. Different concepts were evaluated by pilots on 3 different mock-ups. The problem of interface between TCAS and other airborne systems was studied. It was established that a TCAS flight management system (FMS) coupling was not desirable but coupling the TCAS to the flight director is possible. A basis for development of future cockpit display formats for civil aircraft was established. A matrix was established to allow consistent evaluation and comparison of the 2 technological principles under study:
projected 3-dimensional displays;
stereoscopic 3-dimensional displays.
Possible applications for voice control and synthesis were specified and evaluated. 2 mock-ups were built, one for cockpit display control, the other for autopilot control with an investigation of flexible command language. The man machine interface was investigated in terms of new designation devices suitable for controlling on board systems and replacing the currently used switches and push buttons. The needs of end users in terms of the man machine interface were studied and a technological investigation on databases and mass memories was carried out.
The present project will deal with the above reasons through the following activities:
Analyse the currently specified applications for air-ground data link communications. Identify the Man-Machine Interface (MMI) requirements for the most promising applications and construct a computer-based "mock-up" of the MMI for evaluation. Produce a definition for an airborne data link processor unit and write the specifications for the interface between data link and other aircraft systems.
Analyse the current definition of T-CAS II (Collision Avoidance system), and investigate the existing documentation for T-CAS III. Set up a simulation of T-CAS III algorithms. Construct a computer-based "mock-up" of the MMI for evaluation and write specifications for the interface between T-CAS III and the other aircraft systems. Define guidelines for systems certification in the European environment.
Prospective studies on display technologies: hardware and software for projected and stereoscopic 3-dimensional viewing.
Prospective studies on voice control and synthesis: evaluation and demonstration of representative techniques, identification of main research needs in voice control and synthesis and first analysis.
Prospective studies on designation systems: investigation of an integrated control system for aircraft subsystems.
Elicitation of Electronic Library end-users' wishes, technical investigation of mass memories and databases, definition and evaluation of external features of the Electronic Library, pre-specification and pre-development of an interrogation language for the Electronic Library.


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Aérospatiale Société Nationale Industrielle SA
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37 boulevard de Montmorency
75781 Paris

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Participants (13)