This call (SESAR-ER4-02-2019), which aims to broaden the body of knowledge on joint cognitive human machine systems and/or innovative training concepts developed to safely introduce higher levels of automation in air traffic management, falls under the Smart, green and integrated transport sub-programme of the Horizon 2020 Programme.
According to the SESAR vision outlined in the European ATM Maser Plan, the advancement of ATM automation is the key to significantly improving performance in many aspects of ATM and the development and implementation of higher levels of automation will make it possible to manage the expected increase in air traffic demand and will contribute significantly to the achievement of the high level objectives of the Single European Sky.
At present, the ATM system is designed to be based on relatively high levels of human intervention to manage air traffic safely and efficiently. This role of the human being is being challenged and is expected to shift towards a more supervisory role, but also maintaining the human being as a critical and integral element of the ATM system. The experience of ATM and other domains shows that the increasing dependence on automation makes it important to take into account automation failure scenarios, system resilience and the challenge of maintaining a skilled and competent workforce. It will be necessary to assess human performance issues for air traffic control in a manner similar to those known to affect the performance of the flight crew in the glass cockpit. These include the need to prevent the risks associated with the human operator’s transition to a supervisory function: stress, inattention, loss of situational awareness and loss of skills.
A promising approach to prevent these problems is to progressively evolve the ATM system into a Joint Human Machine Cognitive System, following an integrated design that optimizes stakeholder collaboration with a view to optimizing system performance. The development and application of higher levels of automation will require careful consideration of the strength of human and automation systems, as well as the identification of new human functions in parallel with the development of ATM concepts and the use of technology.
Scope of application
Research proposals in this area should be aimed at an ATM system with a medium-high level of automation in which the human operator works cooperatively with advanced automation as a digital assistant. Both airborne and ATM-related terrestrial systems are within the scope of application.
Research can address aspects of human performance related to higher levels of automation (i.e. stress, inattention, lack of skills, complacency, etc.) and resilience, e.g. by developing new approaches to define appropriate tasking strategies that allow ATCOs and/or other air traffic management and automation actors to cooperate. This may include the use of adaptive or adaptive automation concepts. Projects may focus in particular on transfers that may be necessary between automated systems and human operators, as well as on transfers between people and machines in normal and degraded modes of operation. These new approaches can build on existing legacy solutions and SESAR solutions in preparation, or they can adopt a seamless automation approach. These proposals should validate the proposed design for the automation of ATM systems, focusing on the expected future functions and procedures. They may consider approaches that focus on the front of the automation and use a human to operate the automation in the background (e.g. the Wizard of Oz approach) or even use a predefined automation reaction.
The proposals may also address the implications of the future role that humans are expected to play and the planned introduction of new tools to support training requirements and develop appropriate training concepts. Projects are encouraged to take into account the opportunities offered by current technological advances for the design and delivery of training.
10th September, 2019