Airborne Human Machine Interface (AHMI)

At the beginning of the PHARE programme, the Airborne Human Machine Interface (AHMI) work was performed as part of the Experimental Flight Management System development programme. This activity produced the requirements for PHARE Demonstration 1 and PHARE Demonstration 2, made proposals for display formats and performed prototyping work.
  Further details of the Experimental Flight Management System
 Airborne HMI Navigation Display lateral view
  Airborne HMI Navigation Display lateral view (Click on image for larger view)
In Phase 2, the Experimental Flight Management System and Human Machine Interface (HMI) functionality were split and the Airborne HMI project was established as a separate entity. The Airborne HMI project was tasked to provide a solution for two crew cockpit operations, based on the Multi-Cockpit Simulator (MCS) at the EUROCONTROL Experimental Centre, which was chosen for Airborne HMI trials and evaluation. PHARE Demonstration 3 Airborne HMI user requirements were established and an airborne evaluation pilot briefing guide was produced.

The Airborne HMI programme allowed airline pilots to assess the airborne system in realistic cockpit environments as part of the PHARE Demonstration 3 ATM experiment. Advanced Navigation Displays (NDs) were developed to facilitate the pilot in the graphical construction and modification of lateral routes and vertical profiles.
Airborne HMI Navigation Display vertical view 
Airborne HMI Navigation Display vertical view (Click on image for larger view)  
The airborne pilot interface was designed for the planning and negotiation task of the pilot not-flying and the monitoring task of the pilot-flying. These tasks were carried out using an interactive navigation display and a Control and Display Unit (CDU).

For Airborne HMI evaluation the Multi-Cockpit Simulator was used in a two-crew configuration. The CDUs were located on the centre pedestal, primary flight display and Navigation Displays were located in front of the pilot, and the trackball was located on the side panels near the side-stick. The trackball controlled the position of a cursor on the ND. Waypoints could be selected and/or removed by moving the cursor soft buttons on the ND. The trackball also included a button for selecting graphical objects.


The PHARE airborne programme was highly successful. The Experimental Flight Management System, with its Airborne Human Machine Interface was used in three PHARE demonstration programmes using three real aircraft and a flight simulator.
  • In PHARE Demonstration 1, the BAC 1-11 of NATS/DERA was flown by company test pilots.
  • In PHARE Demonstration 2, the VFW-614 of DLR (ATTAS) was flown by company test pilots.
  • In PHARE Demonstration 3, the Cessna Citation II of NLR and the BAC 1-11 of NATS/DERA were flown by company test pilots. In addition the Multi-Cockpit Simulator (based on a Boeing 747) of the EUROCONTROL Experimental Centre was flown by several airline pilots.
In general, the overall perception of the PHARE concept was positive. It was felt by most of the participating pilots that a more strategic air traffic management, with airborne-ground integration would become absolutely necessary in the future. The influence on workload for the crew could only partly be considered, as the number of negotiations per flight could not be estimated with sufficient accuracy, without a working ground system, realistic meteorological information and simulated flights. The answer of the pilots to the question ‘does the PHARE negotiation process reduce the pilot overall workload?’ was generally neutral but must be taken into account with caution, respecting the above-mentioned constraints.

Direct manipulation of routes/trajectories on the Navigation Display was welcomed by the pilots as a significant improvement on the systems in use at the time of the experiments, and the concept of trajectory negotiation was quickly assimilated.

For further information

The Airborne Human Machine Interface is documented in the following:
  Acrobat 97-70-07 PD/3 AHMI User Requirements Document60 Kb
  Acrobat 98-70-05 PD/3 AHMI Design Document CDU and Navigation Display for use with EFMS Phase II369 Kb
  Acrobat 98-70-13 PD/3 Airborne Evaluation Pilot Briefing Guide816 Kb
  Acrobat 98-70-19 Airborne Report2,558 Kb
The following documents contain further information regarding the Airborne Human Machine Interface:
  Acrobat 96-70-18 PHARE : Definition and use of Tubes65 Kb
  Acrobat 96-70-24 PD1 Final Report Volume 2 Annex E Airborne Aspects of PD/11,514 Kb
  Acrobat 97-70-13 PD/2 Final Report Volume 1912 Kb
  Acrobat 97-70-13 PD/2 Final Report Volume 2 Annex F Airborne Aspects of PD/2800 Kb
  Acrobat 97-70-14 Trajectory Negotiation in a Multi-sector Environment131 Kb
  Acrobat 99-70-01 Volume 2 of PD/3 Final Report - CENA PD/3 Final Report Annex E Airborne Aspects886 Kb
  Acrobat 99-70-09 PHARE Final Report1,482 Kb