Human Computer Interaction Issues with Multi-Touch screen interfaces in Flight Deck. Sridher Kaminani Major Professor: James Oliver POS: J.Oliver, S.Gilbert, A.Townsend, D.Jacobson, J.Vance & A.Breiholz. ABSTRACT. INTRODUCTION. DISCUSSION.
Multi-Touch screen interfaces in Flight Deck
Sridher Kaminani Major Professor: James Oliver
POS: J.Oliver, S.Gilbert, A.Townsend, D.Jacobson, J.Vance & A.Breiholz
With the advent of customer driven touch screen products the touch screen products have matured enough to reconsider the Multi-touch technology in the Flight deck.
In this paper I will re-evaluate Multi-touch technology from human centered approach to find the opportunities and challenges this technology is bringing to the flight crew while performing the flight operations.
This research will quantify the ease of multi touch screen interfaces as compared with interaction with conventional data entry devices such as control display units.
Multi-touch technology has gained considerable interest in the flight deck design with the evolution of customer products such as Apple iPad, iPhone, Windows 7, etc. Recently Rockwell Collins cockpit for Joint Strike Fighter F-35 (Figure 1) and the Garmin G3000 (Figure 2 and 3) has brought single touch screen technology into the flight deck. This customer driven technology brought demand for effective human machine interfaces without addressing the challenges that were hounding the industry for last few decades associated with it.
History has shown us that the technology driven products does not strive for a long term and especially in a safety critical systems such as avionics all the new technologies are evaluated extensively. This research takes the Human centered approach in evaluating whether the Multi-touch fits the flight deck and augments the flight crew in accomplishing the flight operations easily rather than producing additional workload.
Various researchers earlier have evaluated touch screen technology , but this technology was ruled out due to different issues such as technology evolution, lack of computing power to provide immediate response, sensory feedback etc.
With the evolution of customer products, technology readiness level for Multi-touch technology has evolved and with advent of computing power and alternate sensory products, the issues found earlier can be addressed .
Figure 1.Touch ena`bled Rockwell Collins
Cockpit for Joint Strike Fighter F-35
Figure 3. Garmin’s Touch Screen
Controller in G3000 Flight deck
Multi-touch technology has brought potential for reducing flight deck workload by designing effective human machine interfaces, easy manipulation capabilities, improved navigation between various formats, etc.
Multi touch technology brought opportunities to resolve complex tasks with collaboration between the crew where pilot and co-pilot can manipulate simultaneously on the same display . This Collaboration between the crew to complete common tasks such as completing electronic checklists, validating co-pilot’s action can be done very easily with the multi touch screen interfaces.
This technology opened a new arena of opportunities which has potential to reduce the flight deck work load and ascertain the flight safety.
Figure 2. Honda Jet Cockpit Garmin G3000
In this research we will re-evaluate the Multi-touch technology with the advent of customer driven product proofs and maturity in the computing resources. We will discuss the impact of this customer driven technology with respect on Human performance on regular piloting activities.
Additionally in this paper we will discuss the effectiveness of multi touch technology in various pilot interaction tasks such as flight plan entry, approach and missed approach, merging and separation tasks, electronic checklists, etc.
We will quantify the ease of multi touch screen interfaces as compared with interaction with conventional data entry devices such as control display units.
Multi Touch technology has brought several challenges such as reach to the displays in case of failure, reliability, turbulence, lack of sensory feedback to the user, response time, etc.
Multi Touch technology also provided challenges on human machine interface designers and engineers to design interface that can register touch at all times distinguishing accidental touches and provide sensory feedback upon touch registration, provide reasonable response time, etc.
I would like to thank my major professor Dr. James Oliver, POS Committee, Pam Shill & HCI Faculty and Staff with the immense support and cooperation which I am able to pursue my PhD while working fulltime at Rockwell Collins.
I would like to thank my mentor Arlen Breiholz for his endless support in mentoring the odds of research for endless hours and Rockwell Collins for supporting my research aspirations and funding the my PhD through education reimbursement program.