Human Factors Analysis

The safety and efficiency of the nation’s air traffic control and traffic flow management systems are highly dependent on the people – controllers, pilots, traffic managers, and dispatchers – that must interact with each other and with the equipment. Since the human is the only piece in these systems that cannot be redesigned, it is paramount that new systems are designed for the human – leveraging the strength of the human (e.g., problem solving) and mitigating weaknesses of the human (e.g., short-term memory). While today’s computational processing speeds and storage capabilities have opened the door to almost unlimited automation potential, the role of the human in these systems is now more than ever one of the most fundamental issues that the system designer must address.

Since its inception, Mosaic ATM ensures that new systems and tools integrate human considerations into the design process. We bring together technologies, human factors principles, and extensive expertise to ensure the human can work seamlessly with the system to achieve overall goals. For example, we employ cognitive walkthroughs early in the concept of operations development to leverage subject matter expert knowledge about current systems and operations to identify the needs of new systems and operations.

We employ cognitive task analysis (CTA) methods to gain an understanding of which tasks are better suited to the human and which tasks should be supported by automation. We rapidly prototype graphical user interfaces to explore information requirements and workload issues. The end result is that Mosaic ATM’s involvement ensures that from concept exploration to software development, the human is truly the center of the system.