Air traffic controllers need to reliably and quickly get weather information for aircraft safety. They typically use visual displays to acquire weather information. Current air traffic control displays use different schemes to encode weather information. The objective of this study was to explore the effectiveness of several coding schemes for precipitation levels. We studied three coding schemes that were adapted from the weather displays employed in the Automated Radar Terminal System (ARTS) Color Display (ACD), the Standard Terminal Automation Replacement System (STARS), and the Integrated Terminal Weather System (ITWS). We developed a computer simulation interface that displayed weather maps overlapping with aircraft datablocks. The subjects need to report the highest weather level presented on an 8x6 weather map. They reported the level for all weather blocks in the first type of tasks, and for the owned and point-out aircrafts for the second and third types of tasks. The dependent variables were the reaction time and correctness in identifying weather levels displayed. The results indicate that coding schemes, task type and their interactions all significantly contribute to the error rate of task performance. The coding scheme adapted from the STARS system resulted in lowest error rate and shortest response time.
& Rojas, F.
(2007). Effectiveness of Weather Coding Schemes on Air Traffic Displays. 2007 International Symposium on Aviation Psychology, 392-397.