In the near future, air traffic controllers are expected to adhere to stringent time and position constraints in controlling traffic. For this new task, new decision-support tools are required which include higher levels of automation, whilst letting humans remain to be the ultimate responsible for the safety of operations. In previous research, an advanced human-machine interface was designed and evaluated that allows controllers to manipulate four-dimensional flight plans of each individual aircraft. In this research, a higher level of automation is explored by designing a new interface prototype that enables controllers to manipulate multiple flows of traffic by facilitating interaction with a path-planning algorithm. A first evaluation of this interface, in which five participants were asked to structure a perturbed airspace as they saw fit, showed that the participants were able to influence the algorithm as they desired and were supported by the interface that visualized the inner workings of the algorithm. However, human influence did not improve the solutions in terms of sector robustness and efficiency, as compared the previously designed interface for aircraft. Therefore, improvements and its use case warrant further research.

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Published on 01/01/2019

Volume 2019, 2019
DOI: 10.1109/smc.2019.8914030
Licence: CC BY-NC-SA license

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