The concept of trajectory-based operations as proposed by SESAR and NextGen seeks to increase airspace efficiency and capacity by introducing time as an explicit control variable. Such form of operations lean heavily on the introduction of higher levels of automation to support the human air traffic controller in performing this new task. In previous research, and following the ecological interface design paradigm, a constraint-based decision support tool has been developed to visualize safe and unsafe fields of travel for rerouting the 4D trajectories of individual aircraft. A human-in-the-loop experiment showed that although the interface visualizes the boundaries between safe and unsafe actions, the quality of control in terms of robustness was mainly dependent on the level of expertise of the human controller. Following these findings, the goal of this study has been twofold: 1) to explicitly integrate the attributes of robust control actions into the constraint-based visualization, and 2) to enable flow-based (multi-aircraft) operations with the decision-support tool which is more in line with the mental model of expert controllers. As a result, a metric for the evaluation of robustness has been developed and three different types of structure-based control abstractions have been identified which have been integrated into the tool. Future work will focus on a human-in-the-loop experiment in order to evaluate the effectiveness of these two new additions.
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