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Poster Communications Year : 2024

Ensuring silent communication between light aviation pilots and air traffic control: a new multimodal communication device

Abstract

In the context of light aviation in controlled airspace, airborne communication between pilots and Air Traffic Control (ATC) is at present only ensured orally via a radio channel. This presents limitations to both security (failure of radio, bad audio quality) and accessibility for Hearing or Speaking Impaired (HSI) pilots. Our objective is to develop a Human-Machine Interface (HMI) ensuring silent communication between pilots and ATC. Hence, we developed a device combining sight and touch, which consists of a tablet placed on the upper left side of the cockpit and a vibrating vest worn by pilots. The tablet enables bidirectional communication with ATC, and receiving information from the Automatic Terminal Information Service (ATIS). The vest notifies pilots when a new message is received. This way, pilots can focus their visual attention on the onboard instruments and outside environment. Based on the initiative from the FANS4ALL association, we have preliminary results using an application case centered on two HSI pilots. They both completed a simulator flight scenario under (i) a control condition with a hearing copilot in charge of oral communication, (ii) an experimental condition using our HMI to handle communications autonomously. We evaluated the HMI efficiency regarding diverse variables: acceptance, usability, flight performance, situational awareness, mental workload, reaction time to the vest’s vibration and time to write a message on the tablet. While some results highlighted the need for HMI improvements (enhanced mental workload, reduced situational awareness and slightly reduced flight performance), others are encouraging (acceptable usability, reaction time < 5 seconds, time to write a message ≤ 8seconds). This initial work paves the way for new, quieter and safer means of communication between ATC and pilots. We foresee evaluations with a larger panel of both HSI and hearing pilots to confirm and pursue these preliminary results.
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Dates and versions

hal-04596991 , version 1 (01-06-2024)

Identifiers

  • HAL Id : hal-04596991 , version 1

Cite

Louise Devillers-Reolon, Damien Mariyanayagam, Maryam Boujdaa, Chloe Lassagne, Timoté Dallaporta, et al.. Ensuring silent communication between light aviation pilots and air traffic control: a new multimodal communication device. ICCAS 2024 - the international conference on cognitive aircraft systems, May 2024, Toulouse, France. . ⟨hal-04596991⟩
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