Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Engineers find way to lower risk of midair collisions for small aircraft

Date:
May 19, 2014
Source:
North Carolina State University
Summary:
Researchers have developed new modifications for technology that helps pilots of small aircraft avoid midair collisions. The modified tools significantly improved pilot response times in making decisions to avert crashes.

A modified screen display helps pilots identify which plane poses the greatest risk to their flight path.
Credit: Carl Pankok

Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed new modifications for technology that helps pilots of small aircraft avoid midair collisions. The modified tools significantly improved pilot response times in making decisions to avert crashes.

Related Articles


At issue are "cockpit displays of traffic information" (CDTIs). These are GPS displays used by private pilots to track other aircraft in their vicinity. However, pilots often focus on the closest aircraft on the display -- a habit that can pose a significant hazard.

If the pilot of Plane A sees two planes on the CDTI, he's more likely to focus on the closest aircraft (Plane B). But if the more distant plane (Plane C) is moving at high speed, it could cross his path before Plane B does. Not paying enough attention to Plane C increases risk of a midair collision.

"Our goal was to modify a CDTI to help pilots recognize which other planes pose the greatest risk," says Carl Pankok, lead author of a study on the work and a Ph.D. student in the Edward P. Fitts Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at NC State. "And it worked."

Researchers modified the CDTI so that the plane that would cross a pilot's path first either began blinking or was colored yellow.

The researchers tested the modified CDTI in a flight simulator with a panel of licensed recreational pilots. The research team compared the pilots' response times and decision-making accuracy when using the modified and unmodified displays.

"These pilots were already pretty good, but the modified CDTIs made them better," Pankok says. "Their percentage of 'correct' decisions -- minimizing risk -- jumped from 88 percent to 96 percent. And their response times in scenarios where the farther aircraft was the higher-risk aircraft were cut in half; from 7.2 seconds to 3.7 seconds for blinking CDTIs, and to 4 seconds for yellow CDTIs.

"We're not trying to make money off this," Pankok says. "We're hoping that CDTI manufacturers can incorporate these changes and possibly save lives."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by North Carolina State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Carl Pankok, David B. Kaber. Cockpit Displays of Traffic Information and Pilot Bias in Time-to-Contact Judgments. Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine, 2014; 85 (6): 597 DOI: 10.3357/ASEM.3810.2014

Cite This Page:

North Carolina State University. "Engineers find way to lower risk of midair collisions for small aircraft." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 May 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140519110314.htm>.
North Carolina State University. (2014, May 19). Engineers find way to lower risk of midair collisions for small aircraft. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140519110314.htm
North Carolina State University. "Engineers find way to lower risk of midair collisions for small aircraft." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140519110314.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

NASA's First 3-D Printer In Space Creates Its First Object

NASA's First 3-D Printer In Space Creates Its First Object

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) The International Space Station is now using a proof-of-concept 3D printer to test additive printing in a weightless, isolated environment. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) Innovative recycling project in La Paz separates city waste and converts plastic garbage into school furniture made from 'plastiwood'. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Who Will Failed Nuclear Talks Hurt Most?

Who Will Failed Nuclear Talks Hurt Most?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Nov. 25, 2014) With no immediate prospect of sanctions relief for Iran, and no solid progress in negotiations with the West over the country's nuclear programme, Ciara Lee asks why talks have still not produced results and what a resolution would mean for both parties. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flying Enthusiast Converts Real-Life Aircraft Cockpit Into Simulator

Flying Enthusiast Converts Real-Life Aircraft Cockpit Into Simulator

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 25, 2014) A virtual flying enthusiast converts parts of a written-off Airbus aircraft into a working flight simulator in his northern Slovenian home. Jim Drury reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins