A cockpit situation display of selected NAS/ARTS data
December 15, 1970
MIT Lincoln Laboratory Report TN-1970-39
By the mid-1970's, the evolving NAS/ARTS ground environment will provide the air traffic controllers with high quality computer-processed traffic situation displays. We believe it would be useful, particularly in busy terminal areas, to display some of this data in the cockpit. Systems with this objective have been constructed and flight tested at least 3 times during the past 25 years, but these earlier systems could not benefit from: 1) a source of computer-processed data of the quality to be available from NAS/ARTS; 2) aircraft altitude information; 3) contemporary digital data link techniques; and 4) airborne equipment capable of automatically selecting and displaying only information relevant to a particular airplane. It is believed that an effective cockpit display would permit pilots, under IFR conditions, to retain some of the station-keeping and navigation functions they perform during VFR conditions and thereby improve the efficiency of terminal area operation. The goals of the proposed program are: a) to evaluate the effectiveness of this class of system in reducing pilot and controller work loads, and b) to determine its potential for expediting traffic flow in busy terminal areas. A simulated cockpit display has been developed and experienced pilots and controllers who have "flown" it have endorsed enthusiastically the desirability of evaluating this class of system in an operational environment.