Volpe Center Highlights
Human and Natural Environment
Protect and enhance communities and the natural environment affected by transportation.
Presentations on Behavioral Engineering Technology (FAA)
Two members of the Volpe Center Operator Safety and Performance Division recently gave presentations at a meeting of the Society of Automotive Engineers G 10 Committee on Aerospace Behavioral Engineering Technology, held in Daytona Beach, FL. In the Global Phraseology Subcommittee session, Dr. Judith Brki Cohen discussed her survey of foreign language and international standardization problems associated with the Aviation Safety Reporting Systems. During the Aeronautical Charting Subcommittee session, Dr. Daniel Hannon presented results from a study, conducted at the Center, of color specification on electronically depicted aeronautical charts. Related to this effort, the National Ocean Service expressed interest in how existing colors used on their paper en route charts would transfer to electronic displays. The Terrain Separation Assurance Subcommittee is developing an Aeronautical Recommended Practice for terrain separation assurance display to provide guidance to the FAA and industry on the human factors aspects of these systems.
Air Traffic Control Human Factors Research (FAA)
Dr. Kim Cardosi, of the Volpe Center's Operator Performance and Safety Analysis Division, and Ms. Elizabeth Murphy, of CTA Inc., have published "Human Factors in the Design and Evaluation of Air Traffic Control Systems." This document is intended to enhance aviation safety by identifying human factors considerations early in the design or acquisition of air traffic control equipment. In addition to the text, there is a quick-reference checklist that can be used to direct operations specialists to issues that they may wish to consider in every stage of acquisition, from the specifications of requirements to the operational evaluation. Also included is an electronic version of the checklist that can be used to customize the checklist to a specific system or subsystem. These documents were produced in support of the FAA's Office of the Chief Scientific and Technical Advisor for Human Factors.
Atlanta Testing of Airport Movement Area Safety System (FAA)
The Volpe Center recently conducted an evaluation of the Airport Movement Area Safety System (AMASS) at Atlanta's Hartsfield Airport to determine its ability to eliminate runway incursions between aircraft. AMASS provides tower controllers with displays of aircraft positions obtained from the Airport Surface Detection Equipment (ASDE-3) radar and airborne beacon radar, and provides tracking and conflict alert capabilities. Preparation for the testing involved finalizing a direct (Cambridge, MA to Atlanta, GA) data link between the Center and AMASS, modifying a surveillance camera system to allow variable speed capture of aircraft surface movement, preparing a simplified operations guide and critique sheet for tower controller feedback on the system, and installing a system to automatically collect data.
Commercial Vehicle Safety Data System Workshop (FHWA)
Recently, Mr. William Gay, of the Volpe Center's Center for Transportation Information, played a key role in the 8th annual FHWA Office of Motor Carriers/Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance SAFETYNET Workshop in St. Louis, Missouri. This workshop is conducted on an annual basis to provide technical training to federal and state safety investigators using the SAFETYNET system. SAFETYNET is a microcomputer-based data collection system used by state and local public safety officials engaged in motor carrier safety activities. Mr. Gay, along with contractor support, conducted several training sessions during the workshop on the latest version of SAFETYNET, which the Center developed.
Public Meetings on Radionavigation System Planning (OST)
The Volpe Center's Center for Navigation recently conducted two public meetings on federal radionavigation system plans and policy: the first meeting was held in Cambridge, MA, and the second meeting was held in Boulder, CO. Sponsored by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy and International Affairs, the meetings allowed users of federally-provided radionavigation systems the opportunity to hear presentations from federal government representatives on Global Positioning System transition plans for aviation, maritime, and land applications, and to ask questions and provide comments. The meetings were held in conjunction with the 1996 Federal Radionavigation Plan preparation cycle.
Telecommunications Conference and Training Workshops (FAA)
The Volpe Center's Planning Methods Division provides technical support services to the FAA's Telecommunications Information Management System (TIMS), and the FAA's Enterprise Network Program (ENET). As part of the TIMS support, the Center recently completed 11 of 13 network interface installations across the country to enable a high speed wide area network capability to support the deployment of the TIMS database application at each FAA regional office and headquarters. The final support task calls for the Center to conduct a technology workshop to train TIMS support staff on how to administer and maintain the installed network and related technology. The ENET Program is an FAA-wide effort to manage the acquisition, implementation, and operation of the FAA's communications networking infrastructure. ENET encompasses existing networking facilities, "ADTN2000" services, and future networking capabilities. The second annual ENET Conference, which was recently held in San Diego, CA, was collocated and combined with the scheduled TIMS Technology workshop. Attended by 250-300 government and private sector professionals, the event encouraged a tremendous cross-sharing of information between two distinct technical communities, the Information Resource Management groups and Telecommunications, Management, and Operations groups.