WHEELIE - Advanced Display Filtering Technique (Human Factor Experiments)

This human factors study was conducted to initially investigate a novel concept idea to support air traffic controllers. 

The mobile horizontal filter tool - WHEELIE - was developed by the EUROCONTROL Experimental Centre and is based on the idea that in case of vertical separation it is a priori important for the controllers to know if the aircraft are flying on the same or on different flight levels. WHEELIE provides the opportunity to select the requested flight level by scrolling the ODS-mouse wheel and change it quickly also by activating the mouse wheel (?, 180, 190, 200, ?).

Aircraft on the selected flight level will be graphically highlighted without masking other traffic. Hypothetically WHEELIE may influence mental workload and situation awareness of controllers positively and therewith enhance safety.The project is split in two parts, the development of the simulation environment, e.g. definition of a control sector, of guiding lines and scenarios for the simulation session for the human factors study and the implementation of this study. In this report the main focus is concentrated on the conducted human factors study.

The empirical study is based on a multi-level measurement approach which considers physiological variables, subjective ratings and behavioural indicators such as performance. The experimentation revealed reduced perceived mental workload and improved perceived situation awareness as a consequence of the WHEELIE tool.

WHEELIE was positively assessed; especially the rapid perception of conflicts and a better overview of respective FL and their positive impact on safety were pointed out by the controllers. Ambiguous results and interfering effects as affected from the design are discussed at the end of the report


WHEELIE - Advanced Display Filtering Technique (Human Factor Experiments)