Theoretical Foundations for a Total Energy-Based Perspective Flight-Path Display

The coupling between the control over the aircraft speed and altitude is a difficult aspect of manually controlled flight. These states cannot be changed independently of each other through the aircraft control devices, the elevator and the throttle. Rather, to effectively change an aircraft's speed and altitude, the controls have to be coordinated. The mediating mechanism that underlies the coordination of the controls is the management of the aircraft's energy state. This paper demonstrates that the abstraction hierarchy (AH) framework is an effective way to gain more insight into the underlying structure of the aircraft energy management problem. The derived AH representation is based on the analysis of the energy constraints on the control task. It reveals the levels of abstraction necessary to link the aircraft's physical controls to the speed and altitude goals and also how the aircraft energy is a critical mediating state of the control problem. Energy awareness can be increased by presenting explicit energy management information. The concepts of the total energy reference profile and energy angle are introduced in this paper and applied in the context of a perspective flight-path display. The resulting display presents energy management information fully integrated with the tunnel-in-the-sky display and reveals five new and important energy cues, intuitively linking the controls and the goals. An initial subjective evaluation of the display with professional pilots showed that this approach is promising. Directions for future research are discussed.

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  • Authors:
    • Amelink, Matthijs
    • Mulder, Max
    • van Paassen, M M
    • Flach, John
  • Publication Date: 2005


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01003098
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 13 2005 8:53AM