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Content archived on 2024-04-30

Design of human / machine interfaces and their validation in aeronautics


Answering to the 3A.5.4 of the BRITE EURAM III program, the main objective of this project is to develop, apply and evaluate in an industrial context a methodology which systematically uses the up-to-date Human Factors (HF) techniques for design and evaluation of HMI, and which aims at minimising aircrew errors and maximising effectiveness through improved situation awareness. Aircrew errors are the main factor (by 70%), which impacts the civilaviation safety.

This methodology is composed of:- a new HF-driven design process based on new methods for analysing the improvements which have to be made- a new HMI evaluation process based on objective and subjective measures of crew efficiency.

Secondary objectives are (as result of application of the new methodology) new HMIs which optimise situation awareness and effectiveness of crew response to abnormal situations for two design cases:
1) "external" situation awareness: with respect to terrain and traffic, to minimise the risk of mid-air collision and controlled flight-into terrain;
2) "internal" situation awareness: with respect to onboard subsystems behaviour, to increase the correctness of situation assessment and improve the decision making in case of sub-system failure, thanks to an intelligent decision aid.

The project will evaluate the three phases of the methodology (definition, design and evaluation) and last three years:
1) In the definition phase the multi-disciplinary team from industry and research centres will define the design methodology (based on Quality Function Deployment - a new method which aims at assessing a functional breakdown of qualities - and existing HF techniques) and the situation awareness requirements. QFD will be applied to structure the requirements for each design case and derive potential solutions which could support the requirements;
2) In the design phase, the new HMI solutions will be defined using appropriate HF techniques (e.g. cognitive modelling like Cognitive Function Analysis), then prototyped to allow a first Human Factors review and drive some modifications. Following this, the new HMIs and the required recording devices will be implemented in two industrial research flight simulators: At Aerospatiale Toulouse for design case 1, and British Aerospace Filton for design case 2;
3) The evaluation phase will:
- evaluate the two new HMI technologies using an experimental Man-in-the-loop simulation and a task analytical evaluation. In the experiment a battery of existing and validated HF evaluation techniques will be used. To establish the sensitivity and reliability of the existing techniques in an industrial setting, they will first be applied to a current base-line glass cockpit by means of a simulator. The base-line data will also provide useful data for comparison with the new HMIs. At the end of the experiments the results will be compared with the results of the task analytical evaluation;
- give "lessons learned" about the new human-centred methodology for cockpit design Including QFD, HF driven process, cognitive modelling, battery of existing evaluation methods); this will be an important deliverable. BE97-4120

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Route de Bayonne 316

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Participants (13)