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Designing a detection tool for call sign similarity
 

Designing a detection tool for call sign similarity

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In air traffic radio communication, call signs (aircraft flight identifiers) and other abbreviations can sound confusingly similar and can lead to potentially hazardous situations and accidents.

In air traffic radio communication, call signs (aircraft flight identifiers) and other abbreviations can sound confusingly similar and can lead to potentially hazardous situations and accidents.

EUROCONTROL asked Namahn to design an HMI prototype for a tool based on best practices and to be used by all air traffic stakeholders in the area of operations.

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  • Note – the mindset slides are NOT used in the published case, but can be used when presenting the case to clients.

Designing a detection tool for call sign similarity Designing a detection tool for call sign similarity Presentation Transcript

  • An HMI prototype for a tool to detect similarity in aircraft call signs
    timeQ2 2009- Q4 2009
    durationthree months
  • About EURCONTROL
    Eurocontrolis the civil and military intergovernmental organisation for the safety of air navigation in Europe.
    business b2b
  • Design challenge
    In air traffic radio communication, call signs (aircraft flight identifiers) and other abbreviations can sound confusingly similar and can lead to potentially hazardous situations and accidents. EUROCONTROLasked Namahn to design an HMI prototype for a tool to detect and resolve similar call signs that is to be used by all air traffic stakeholders in the area of operations.
    discipline interaction design safety-critical systems
  • Approach
    define
    understand
    explore
    • Field study
    • Mental modelling
    • Prototyping
    • Engineering specification
  • understand
  • understandexplore define
    Field study
    By carefully observing the operators at work, we gained an in-depth insight in their needs and practices. Individual airlines had introduced some automatic functionality with the help of database applications. However, these first approaches towards an automated solution led to repetitive work and were applied only locally.
    A database used for conflict detection at an Aircraft Operator
  • explore
  • understand explore define
    Mental modelling
    Using the input from the operational concepts, functional requirements and field studies, a mental model was devised for the future tool. This model defines how users responsible for detecting and resolving similarities in a given flight plan will perceive the application, its content and behaviour inside the workflow.
    An excerpt from the mental modelfor call sign similarity detection using the CSS tool
  • understandexploredefine
    Prototyping
    We created HMI mock-ups that were refined across several iterations based on feedback from Eurocontrol and its stakeholders. The final HTML prototype allowed basic navigation and interactions.Our HMI prototype was able to hide the complexity of the tool’s underlying algorithms without loosing any functionality or efficiency.
    Sequence of screens of the final HTML prototypeof the CSS tool
  • define
  • understand explore define
    Engineering specification
    Eurocontrol‘s priority had been a realistic first mock-up to be presented to aircraft operators and air traffic stakeholders. We created a minimal but pertinent engineering specification to communicate all design concepts to the future developers in a concise and practical format.
    Sample from the engineering specification for the CSS tool HMI
  • Outcome
    Our design helped Eurocontrol to communicate its vision of how to deal with call sign similarity issues and get essential buy-in and commitment from the stakeholders on using the proposed CSS tool. It is scheduled to be made available via Eurocontrol’s NOP (network operations portal), a web-portal for providing operational information of the European airspace to all air traffic stakeholders.
  • Grensstraat 21 rue de la Limite
    B-1210 Brussels
    info@namahn.com | +32 2 209 08 85