Synthetic Vision Systems (SVS) are likely to become an integral part of the commercial flight deck in the future. The introduction of SVS is driven by the need to increase safety, most notably to reduce Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT). Various avionics companies and research institutes have successfully developed SVS that have shown to increase the pilot’s situational awareness regarding to attitude, position and clearance relative to the terrain. To further increase the pilot’s terrain awareness, we believe that more meaningful information should be added to the synthetic view on the outside world. This can be accomplished by showing the pilot how the external constraints (terrain) relate to the internal aircraft constraints (e.g. climb performance). Based on that information, a pilot can see for himself what an obstacle actually means to him in terms of possibilities to fly over it, and if not, what his alternatives for action are. A guiding principle to develop a more meaningful interface is the paradigm of Ecological Interface Design (EID). This paper presents the preliminary results of an aviation work domain analysis conducted with respect to the manual control task of guiding aircraft through a terrain-challenged environment. This work will serve as the foundation for developing an ecological SVS interface with the objective to truly enhance the pilot’s terrain awareness.
& van Passen, R. M.
(2005). EID for a Terrain-Aware Synthetic Vision System. 2005 International Symposium on Aviation Psychology, 69-74.