The impact of out-the-window size on air traffic controllers’ visual behaviours and response time on digital tower operations

Wen Chin Li*, Peter Moore, Jingyi Zhang, John Lin, Peter Kearney

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Digital tower using video-panorama display permits the provision of air traffic services remotely without the need for a local physical tower. The recent growth of visual science has demonstrated the popular concept in respect of the size of display “bigger is better”. The aim of this research is to examine the sizes of Out-the-Window (OTW) panoramic displays and how they affect controller's visual behaviours, response time and workload. There are two validated OTW (43-inch vs 55-inch) which can potentially be implemented in the digital tower module. It is critical to investigate air traffic controllers’ cognitive demand and monitoring performance while interacting with different sizes of OTW in the digital tower module. This research recruited 15 qualified controllers working at a European regional airport. The results demonstrated that a 43-inch display was a better human-computer interaction in target identification than a 55-inch OTW panorama display. The subjective and objective approaches revealed that controllers’ visual behaviours and response times were difference while interacting with different sizes of OTW, but controllers’ workload did not show difference. The bigger screen presents bigger stimuli which are easier spotted by ATCOs, but it induces bigger amplitude of head and eye movements, bigger distortion on both edges of screen and longer response time on target identifications. System designers should be aware of the effects of peripheral vision and visual distortion on panorama displays while designing digital tower modules for the provision of future air traffic services.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102880
JournalInternational Journal of Human Computer Studies
Volume166
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Oct

Keywords

  • Augmented visualization
  • Digital tower
  • Human-computer interaction
  • Panoramic displays
  • Visual behaviours

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Education
  • General Engineering
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Hardware and Architecture

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