Enhancing the situational awareness of airfield local controllers
Mowery, Samuel P.
Shilling, Russell D.
Mislick, Gregory K.
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In recent years, a number of near midair collisions has shed light on the increased likelihood of mishaps that are partly attributable to traffic density. In air traffic control operations, situational awareness of a local controller at an airfield such as Marine Corps Air Station Camp Pendleton, California, is critical to prevention of catastrophic midair collisions. Spatialized audio technology has the potential to reduce or eliminate temporary losses of situational awareness. Spatialized audio technology allows auditory icons to be presented at perceptual locations external to the head at a complete range of elevation and azimuth locations relative to the listener. This thesis investigates the use of these spatialized auditory icons to determine if they could be effectively implemented in air traffic control type tasks to benefit local controllers. The research was conducted in the Advanced Auditory Displays Laboratory at NPS. A scenario to exemplify typical airfield operations at Camp Pendleton was written using javabased computer code. A virtual tower environment was created with a head mounted video display, inertial head tracker, and a spatialized audio server. Results indicated that subjects of the experiment responded more rapidly and accurately using spatialized audio.