A design strategy for human-system integration in aerospace: Where to start and how to design information integration for dynamic, time and safety critical systems

  • I Solodilova-Whiteley

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


The aim of this research is to develop a framework that provides systemic designguidance for future interfaces that are to provide effective and cognitively suitableinformation presentation to operators in dynamic and time-critical domains. Theaerospace domain has been chosen as the focus for this study.In the aerospace domain there are numerous reported accidents where contributoryfactors are attributed to pilots’ misunderstanding of automated system configurations,and pilots’ misinterpretation of system behaviour. These problems have occurred asrapid advances in technology have led to an overabundance of ‘useful’ informationbeing presented to the pilot. Currently, the information presented to pilots is oftendisjointed and distributed across various interfaces where each interface is based on itsown design rationale. This creates problems where the pilot either cannot locateinformation in a timely manner, or misinterprets the available information. There is aneed for a systematic design process that deals with meaningfully presenting theabundance of features and interactions of the new technology introduced into thecockpit through the use of existing domain knowledge, structures and strategies drawnfrom existing pilot training and experience.The thesis is a case study. It shows how a new systematic interface design guidanceprocess was developed by first identifying effective information presentation directlyfrom airforce and airline pilots in their time-critical working environment conductedthrough observational and empirical studies. The studies provided answers for researchquestions that were concerned with finding appropriate information presentations forpilots. This resulted in a framework that serves as a guide for the interface designer onhow to arrive at, structure and present information to an operator in a cognitivelyefficient manner.The thesis demonstrates two applications of the design framework, one of which is thenevaluated by pilots who demonstrate significantly improved speed and accuracyperformance when compared to conventional alphanumerical displays. The applicationsand limitations of the framework are also discussed.
Date of Award1 Nov 2005
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorPeter Johnson (Supervisor)

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