Design And Automation
Alara Elis Meral (1907499)
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What is Automation?
Automation in aviation refers to any automatic guidance and/or control device able to change the aircraft's flight path or energy state (either directly or indirectly). The term is commonly used to refer to the automated systems located in the aircraft cockpit, also known as the flight deck.
Sperry Corporation developed the first autopilot in 1912, less than 10 years after the Wright Brothers' first flight. It allowed aircraft to fly straight and level on a set heading, without intervention by the pilot. Sperry (on the right) developed the first three-axis autopilot, the first example of a flight path management system, two years later. The race to automate aircraft cockpits had gotten off to a fast start. Autopilots are now capable of completing an entire flight with minimal physical input.
1949 – De Havilland DH 106 “Comet.” World’s first full service Jet Airliner.
Designers' predominant philosophy in the 1970s and 1980s was that cockpit automation should control systems while pilots track their performance. It was understood that maintaining continuous control of systems was often beyond the capacities of normal humans. Furthermore, it was not the most effective use of humans' ability to analyze and control complex situations.
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PROBLEM & GOALS A Human-Centered Design Process (Foyle et al, 1996) Initial Requirements Field Study TECHNOLOGY ASSUMPTIONS INFORMATION REQUIREMENTS Iterative Evaluation and Validation Performance Evaluations Procedural SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS SYSTEM DEFINITION
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There are fears that technology-driven automation has taken pilots out of the loop, leaving them unable to conduct their control and supervisory duties effectively. Many of the long-standing human performance problems, such as error introduction and identification, have yet to be solved. Designers have realized that removing human error from the cockpit is an impossible target. Over the last 10-15 years, system design has become more human-centered, with a focus on educating pilots to detect and control mistakes rather than futile attempts to prevent them.
The technology-centered and human-centered approaches to automation design started to emerge as distinct approaches to the design of automation. The overriding design philosophy is to use automation wherever possible to reduce pilot workload and eliminate errors. The philosophy is to improve human efficiency rather than replacing it by reducing workload and assisting the pilot in managing complex processes and making accurate and timely decisions.
Advantages of Cockpit Automation
In 1985, Earl L. Wiener,5 a leading expert in human factors and automation in aviation, identified several significant advantages of cockpit automation: safety economy, reliability, and maintenance workload reduction and certification of two-pilot commercial transport aircraft more precise fight maneuvers and navigation display flexibility economy of cockpit space catering to the special requirements of military missions. Most of these principles apply equally to charter and GA. Advances in automation and design have allowed the certification of some high-performance turbo-props and business jets like Beechcraft Kingair, Pilatus PC-12, Hawker Premier, Embraer Phenom 300, and several Cessna Citation models.
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Threats resulting from insuffcient pilot knowledge
Pilots are out of the control loop
FMS programming errors
Digital technology is being used to improve aircraft cockpits. The intention was to address pilot workload issues and automate human error out of the system. However, there were two flaws. First, the devices themselves had to be designed, operated, and maintained by the same people whose limitations they were designed to avoid. As a result, human error was not removed, but rather moved. Second, the devices themselves, and their interactions with pilots, posed a risk of causing mistakes, which could lead to accidents.