The performance of a Certified Professional Controller (CPC) can have a critical impact on safety. A specific concern is that a high cognitive load has been associated with performance decrement. Thus, it is important to continuously monitor and accurately assess CPC cognitive load. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the effectiveness of Conflict Resolution Advisory (CRA), automation which provides CPCs with resolutions to avoid conflicts. In this study, we used functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS) to index cognitive workload of 12 CPCs from En Route centers. Results indicate that fNIRS measures were sensitive to air traffic level, but we did not find significant differences across CRA conditions. In addition, we conducted analysis on fNIRS data time-locked to selected events such as clearance commands. With this event-related analysis, we found differences among CRA conditions for different events. The findings indicate that fNIRS can be a potential objective workload measurement tool in the air traffic control domain.
& Ayaz, H.
(2013). The Use of Functional near Infrared Spectroscopy (FNIRS) to Assess Cognitive Workload of Air Traffic Controllers. 17th International Symposium on Aviation Psychology, 615-620.