Mechanical Engineering Faculty Research


Effect of Aircraft Datablock Complexity and Exposure Time on Performance of Change Detection Task

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Air traffic controllers constantly perform tasks of monitoring traffic situation and searching for conflict between aircrafts. One requirement for these tasks is being able to detect any changes in the aircraft status presented by aircraft datablock. In this study, we investigated the effects of aircraft datablock complexity and exposure time on the change detection task performance. Two types of datablock, six field datablock (6F-DB) and nine field datablock (9F-DB), were artificially designed. Ten participants learned the change detection taskwith aircraft datablocks for four days. Our results showed that datablock complexity and exposure time in the change detection task had direct impacts on task performance. In particular, participants had higher detection accuracy with the less complex 6F-DB than the more complex 9F-DB. The longer DB exposure time of 1 second and 3 second also led to higher detection accuracy than 0.5 second. The pattern fields in the datablock were associated with better detection performance than the alphanumeric fields. To optimize the performance of change detection task in air traffic control system, we need to consider both factors of datablock complexity and exposure time. For the more complex datablock, longer exposure time should be provided.

Publication Title

Engineering Psychology and Cognitive Ergonomics



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