Degree Type

Thesis

Date of Award

2014

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Mechanical Engineering

Major

Human Computer Interaction

First Advisor

Michael Dorneich

Second Advisor

Atul Kelkar

Abstract

This thesis summarizes research to investigate the characteristics that define information automation systems used on aircraft flight decks and the significant impacts that these characteristics have on pilot performance. Major accomplishments of the work include the development of a set of characteristics that describe information automation systems on the flight deck and an experiment designed to study a subset of these characteristics. Information automation systems on the flight deck are responsible for the collection, processing, analysis, and presentation of data to the flightcrew. These systems pose human factors issues and challenges that must be considered by designers of these systems.

Based on a previously developed formal definition of information automation for aircraft flight deck systems, an analysis process was developed and conducted to reach a refined set of information automation characteristics. In this work, characteristics are defined as a set of properties or attributes that describe an information automation system's operation or behavior, which can be used to identify and assess potential human factors issues. Hypotheses were formed for a subset of the characteristics: Automation Visibility, Information Quality, and Display Complexity. An experimental investigation was developed to measure performance impacts related to these characteristics, which showed mixed results of expected and surprising findings, with many interactions. A set of recommendations were then developed based on the experimental observations.

Ensuring that the right information is presented to pilots at the right time and in the appropriate manner is the job of flight deck system designers. This work provides a foundation for developing recommendations and guidelines specific to information automation on the flight deck with the goal of improving the design and evaluation of information automation systems before they are implemented.

Copyright Owner

Rachel Fedderson Dudley

Language

en

File Format

application/pdf

File Size

88 pages

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