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Dallas/Fort Worth field demonstration #2 (DFW-2) final report for Tower Flight Data Manager (TFDM)

Summary

The Tower Flight Data Manager (TFDM) is the next generation air traffic control tower (ATCT) information system that integrates surveillance, flight data, and other sources, which enables advanced decision support tools (DSTs) to improve departure and arrival efficiency and reduce fuel burn at the airport. TFDM was exercised as a prototype installed at the Dallas / Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) during a two-week demonstration in the spring of 2011 termed DFW-2. MIT Lincoln Laboratory conducted this demonstration for the FAA in coordination with DFW air traffic control (ATC) and the DFW airport authority. The objective of this TFDM field demonstration was to validate the operational suitability and refine production system requirements of the Tower Information Display System (TIDS) surface surveillance display and Flight Data Manager (FDM) electronic flight data display and to evaluate the first iteration of the Supervisor Display and DSTs. These objectives were met during the two-week field demonstration. Results indicated that the TIDS and FDM exhibited capabilities considered operationally suitable for the tower as an advisory system and as a primary means for control given surface surveillance that is approved for operational use. Human factors data indicated that TIDS and FDM could be beneficial. The prototype Supervisor Display and DSTs met a majority of the technical performance criteria, but fewer than half of the human factors success criteria were met. As this was the first iteration of the Supervisor Display and DST capabilities, subsequent prototype iterations to achieve the target concept of operations, functionality and information presentation with accompanying field demonstrations to evaluate these honed capabilities were recommended and expected. FLM/TMC feedback will help refine subsequent system design.
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Summary

The Tower Flight Data Manager (TFDM) is the next generation air traffic control tower (ATCT) information system that integrates surveillance, flight data, and other sources, which enables advanced decision support tools (DSTs) to improve departure and arrival efficiency and reduce fuel burn at the airport. TFDM was exercised as a...

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U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Aviation Administration Field Demonstration #2: Final Report for Staffed NextGen Tower (SNT)

Published in:
MIT Lincoln Laboratory Report ATC-389

Summary

Staffed NextGen Towers (SNT), a research concept being developed and validated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), is a paradigm shift to providing air traffic control services primarily via surface surveillance approved for operational use by controllers instead of the existing out-the-window (OTW) view at high-density airports. SNT was exercised as a prototype installed at the Dallas-Fortworth International Airport (DFW) during a two-week demonstration in the spring of 2011. MIT Lincoln Laboratory conducted this demonstration for the FAA in coordination with DFW air traffic control (ATC) and the DFW airport authority. This proof-of-concept demonstration used live traffic and was conducted by shadowing East tower operations from the DFW center tower, which is a back-up facility currently not typically used for air traffic control. The objective of this SNT field demonstration was to validate the supplemental SNT concept, to assess the operational suitability of the Tower Information Display System (TIDS) display for surface surveillance, and to evaluate the first iteration of prototype cameras in providing visual augmentation. TIDS provided surface surveillance information using an updated user interface that was integrated with electronic flight data. The cameras provided both fixed and scanning views of traffic to augment the OTW view. These objectives were met during the two-week field demonstration. DFW air traffic provided twelve controllers, three front line manager (FLMs), and three traffic management coordinators (TMCs) as test subjects. The twelve National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) DFW controllers "worked" the traffic according to their own techniques, using new hardware and software that included high resolution displays of surveillance data augmented by camera views. This equipment was designed to provide enhanced situational awareness to allow controllers to manage increased traffic volume during poor visibility conditions, leading to increased throughput. Results indicated that the likelihood of user acceptance and operational suitability is high for TIDS as a primary means for control, given surface surveillance that is approved for operational use. Human factors data indicated that TIDS could be beneficial. However, major technical issues included two display freezes, some incorrectly depicted targets, and display inconsistencies on TIDS. The cameras experienced numerous technical limitations that negatively influenced the human factors assessment of them. This report includes the percentages of human factors and technical success criteria that passed at DFW-2.
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Summary

Staffed NextGen Towers (SNT), a research concept being developed and validated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), is a paradigm shift to providing air traffic control services primarily via surface surveillance approved for operational use by controllers instead of the existing out-the-window (OTW) view at high-density airports. SNT was exercised...

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A field demonstration of the air traffic control Tower Flight Data Manager prototype

Published in:
HFES 2011, Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 55th Annual Mtg., 19-23 September 2011, p. 61-65.

Summary

The development and evaluation process of the Tower Flight Data Manager prototype at Dallas Ft. Worth airport is described. Key results from the first field evaluation are presented, including lessons learned about making electronic flight information acceptable to controllers. Iteration of the field evaluation methods are discussed for practitioner benefit.
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Summary

The development and evaluation process of the Tower Flight Data Manager prototype at Dallas Ft. Worth airport is described. Key results from the first field evaluation are presented, including lessons learned about making electronic flight information acceptable to controllers. Iteration of the field evaluation methods are discussed for practitioner benefit.

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