A Distributed Air Traffic Information Display Simulator: Design and Results

Hancock, P.A., & Smith, K. (2007). A distributed air traffic information display simulator: Design and results. International Journal of Applied Aviation Studies, 7(2), 232-243.

The National Airspace System (NAS) is vested in the interaction of multiple partners. Effective simulations of NAS require the participation of multiple operators. One reason why such an integrated simulation facility would be useful lies in its potential to test various proposed changes in NAS operations that have accompanied the introduction of impact technologies. Autonomous self-separation by pilots is close to one end of a continuum of operational concepts known as ‘free flight’, which could compose an evident paradigm change for global air operations. The configuration of autonomous control has been explored in our Laboratory in a programmatic series of research studies. We created a purpose-specific simulation system especially focused on the issue of pilot-ATC interaction and the respective changes in functioning due to greater distribution of control. The present paper describes this effort, its structure, function, and results, which have shown a consistent use of a time-to-contact threshold by pilots in resolving conflict situations.

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