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Human-in-the-Loop Investigation of Airspace Design  (2011)
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A part-task, human-in-the-loop study on Flexible Airspace Management (FAM) was conducted to explore the role of algorithm-generated airspace designs, human-centered design practices, and the potential benefits of FAM within these contexts. Participants were independently exposed to 4- and 7-sector traffic scenarios that involved sector load imbalances due to reroutes around convective weather. Peak sector loads were well above the imposed threshold of 22 aircraft and required active management in each of the following conditions: No Boundary Change (No BC) in which traffic load imbalances were addressed through reroutes alone, Manual BC in which participants modified the existing airspace boundaries to reduce and redistribute load imbalances followed by reroutes for the remaining excess, and Algorithm + Manual BC in which sets of algorithm-generated boundary configurations were available for selection and further modification followed by reroutes to reduce remaining excess traffic load. Overall, results showed that FAM operations in the Manual and Algorithm + Manual BC conditions required fewer reroutes and managed peak sector loads better than the No BC condition. Furthermore, algorithm-generated airspace designs and the support they provided in the Algorithm + Manual BC condition resulted in consistent benefits in terms of fewer reroutes and better peak management than in the Manual BC condition. Feedback from participants also highlighted the beneficial role of airspace optimization algorithms in FAM by providing a means of developing more acceptable and effective airspace designs and overall solutions to the problems presented.
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Airspace, Design, Human-in-the-Loop, Investigation
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Proceedings of AIAA Guidance Navigation and Control Conference 2011, Portland, Oregon
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Curator: Phil So
NASA Official: Alonso Vera
Last Updated: August 15, 2019