Human factors aspects of the Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System (TCAS II)
Tuttell, Robert Joseph.
Heard, Chester A.
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The objective of this study was to investigate three areas of interaction between pilots and the TCAS II Collision Avoidance System in order to examine the following areas of concern: (1) Did pilots maneuver on traffic advisory (TA) information? (2) Did the pilots' use of the system increase the miss distance between conflicting aircraft? (3) Would an alternate design for the resolution advisory (RA) display be more effective than the current display? The first two questions were answered with data obtained from a NASA-Ames simulation using airline crews and a Boeing 727 flight simulator. Evaluation of these data reveal 14 incidents were pilots successfully maneuvered their aircraft using TA information. Forty scenarios where the TCAS II system directed evasive maneuvers were examined. These results show that the recommended avoidance maneuvers increased aircraft miss distance in 37 cases. Alternate designs for the resolution advisory display were evaluated using military and civilian pilots reacting to a computer display simulation. These results demonstrate that a 'red and green' RA display is more effective than the current 'red only' RA display. Keywords: Air traffic control systems, Theses. (sdw)
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