Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Pilots and air traffic controllers can swap roles with new technology

11.10.2007
New technology for air traffic control blurs the borderlines between what has traditionally been the respective jobs of pilots and air traffic controllers. The new technology is necessary for dealing with the growing air traffic but also raises issues about who is responsible for what, for instance. Fredrik Barchéus at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm, Sweden, has studied the consequences for the professional groups concerned.

New technologies such as satellite navigation, data link communication, and ADS-B (aircraft send out information about their position) have the potential to totally reform the routines involved in aviation by making it possible for one and the same system to run both navigation and monitoring. These tasks have traditionally been divided between pilots and air traffic controllers.

Air Traffic Management is the aggregate concept, and the technology has already been tested in planes in collaboration with airline companies in northern Europe.

“The present division of job tasks between the pilot and the air traffic controller is mainly based on the historical development and application of technological equipment­above all radar technology.

The new technology allows information in the aviation system to be split up to a much greater extent. For example, air traffic controllers can gain greater insight into navigation in certain phases, while pilots can be responsible for staying out of the way of other aircraft,” says Fredrik Barchéus, who is finishing his doctorate at the Section for Industrial Work Science at KTH in Stockholm, Sweden.

His section describes the basic properties of present-day and new technologies, procedures in civil aviation, and how tasks and responsibilities are distributed between pilots and air traffic controllers. Interviews with air traffic controllers from several European countries have shown that there is some concern about the future in terms of where the responsibility will lie in various situations, and how it can be transferred in a safe manner.

“New technology forces us to develop appropriate procedures to allow us to continue to fly safely. One key aspect is how the exchange of information should take place between air traffic controllers and pilots. Both data link and radio are possible modes, or even a combination of both,” says Fredrik Barchéus.

Observations from simulations in which the new technology was tested by pilots and air traffic controllers show both pros and cons for both communication modes. Transferring numbers via data link reduces the risk of misunderstanding in one way, while radio communication allows the air traffic controller to tell from the pilot’s tone of voice whether he understood an instruction. If not, the instruction can be repeated in a different way.

The technology already exists and can be implemented as soon as airlines and civil aviation authorities are ready to make the change. The obstacle at present is that airlines are busy coping with the stiff competition in the air travel market and have no economic incentive to invest in the technology. But down the road the authorities are going to want to replace various national systems with a common European set-up under the motto “A Single European Sky.”

“Regardless of when a change is effected, it’s important for future technological development to be carried out in international collaboration and for developers to place great emphasis on human factors such as procedures, phraseology, and training of pilots and air traffic controllers when the technology is introduced,” stresses Fredrik Barchéus.

Title of dissertation: Who is responsible? Communication, coordination and collaboration in the future Air Traffic Management system

Magnus Myrén | alfa
Further information:
http://www.kth.se

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht First machine learning method capable of accurate extrapolation
13.07.2018 | Institute of Science and Technology Austria

nachricht A step closer to single-atom data storage
13.07.2018 | Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Barium ruthenate: A high-yield, easy-to-handle perovskite catalyst for the oxidation of sulfides

16.07.2018 | Life Sciences

New research calculates capacity of North American forests to sequester carbon

16.07.2018 | Earth Sciences

Nano-kirigami: 'Paper-cut' provides model for 3D intelligent nanofabrication

16.07.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>