We had a splendid week full of inspiring discussion at WATMC. Thank you for visiting our booth and taking an interest in multi-airport control, digital NOTAMs and Human Factors in Aviation. Farewell Madrid, hello Geneva!
The World ATM Congress will take place for the last time in Madrid on 21-23 June. We will present the newest developments of MasterMAN, our assistance system for remote tower control, at booth 1119 together with our partner m-click.aero.
Since 2017 we are cooperating with Saab, the remote tower control pioneer and market leader for the related remote tower solutions. Saab is supplier of LFV, the Swedish ANSP. Saab and LFV are the first cooperative, which brought remote airport control into operations at several airports in Sweden.
We are very much looking forward to welcoming you in Madrid.
Automation and digitalization of control rooms through the use of more modern technology is also changing the working conditions for the operators who are working there. Some tasks will be omitted while other tasks will be changed or added. This entire interaction of technology, operating procedures, training of the operators as well as teamwork and communication requires a comprehensive human factors assessment in order to verify the new work processes and to ensure the safety of the monitored systems.
Together with our partner MTO Safety GmbH, we have conducted such a human factors assessment in a nuclear power plant in Finland. Details of the study will be presented in the lecture “Human Factors Assessment of a new control room system in a Nuclear Power Plant” at CISAP 10 (10th International Conference on Safety & Environment in Process & Power Industry, Florence, Italy, 8-11 May 2022).
In 2023, Berlin will host the Special Olympics World Games, the world’s largest inclusive sporting event. Between June 17 and 25 approximately 7,000 athletes will compete at several locations in Berlin.
As part of Berlin’s sustainability program Inclusion ’23, the Berlin-Brandenburg Transport Authority (VBB) is working on the project Olympklusion – mit Bus & Bahn inklusiv zu den Special Olympics World Games. The project is taking the Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023 as an opportunity to develop a mobility app that is as easy to use as possible for the largest possible group of passengers. Information in easy-to-use language, digital guidance systems and a digital video navigation assistance system are among the features to be integrated into the app.
HFC contributes its expertise in the fields of accessibility and UUX of digital systems to the project, and will accompany the app development accordingly. We also support the user research, and will conduct the evaluation of individual system aspects as well as of the app’s beta version.
In three successive experiments, we address the questions of which perceptual qualities humans associate with road traffic noise and how they evaluate such noise overall with respect to its annoyance. In particular, however, we are interested in how conventional and new noise control measures change the evaluation of recipients and which psychoacoustic parameters play a role in this process. Psychoacoustic parameters are technical measures that can be used to describe auditory perceptions inherent to noise sources. Examples include loudness, sharpness, roughness, fluctuation strength and tonality, which influence how annoying we perceive a (traffic) noise.
A new approach to noise control is acoustic masking, in which sounds are added to existing sound sources. These can be, for example, natural sounds such as the sound of rivers, birds chirping or fountains splashing. In the project, we aim to determine whether these and other new noise control measures can reduce the annoyance of traffic noise and which new psychoacoustic parameters and models can make a significant contribution to these efforts.
The studies are being conducted together with our partners in the Mixed Reality Design Lab of TU Berlin and UdK Berlin.
This report is based on parts of the research project carried out at the request of the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, represented by the Federal Highway Research Institute, under research project No. 02.0431/2019/IRB. The author is solely responsible for the content.
In mid-2020, we received an award for our particularly innovative idea for safety in industrial robotics “Intendicate”, combined with a funding to implement this idea. We worked on this idea for a year together with our colleagues from the HU Berlin and the Whydobirds. Nine design studies, four lab experiments and countless lines of code later, we can announce: It works. Intendicate effectively makes it easier for humans to predict the movements of a robotic arm in a collaboration task. This increases trust in the machine, decreases mental stress, and frees up more cognitive resources to safely and attentively address the work context.
Under the consortium leadership of Fincons Group, HFC has been working on the CONTENT4ALL project for the last three years together with the research institutions University of Surrey and Fraunhofer HHI, the TV broadcaster VRT and the media company SwissTXT. The project was co-funded by the European Commission (grant nr. 762021). The aim of the project was to test technologies and algorithms that facilitate the production of sign language content for television broadcasters, in order to provide more content for the Deaf.
In the project, HFC was responsible for the user research. We applied user-centered design methods in the different phases of the project – from requirements analysis to the evaluation of virtual sign language interpreters. Find out more about our experiences and selected results in two recent publications [1, 2].
The pandemic also made it difficult for us to interact directly with users. We met this challenge with an expanded portfolio for accessible online surveys, which was also very well received by the survey participants. We published our insights and challenges from the development of accessible questionnaires with a fun factor in the form of a guideline paper  . The project has helped us to make further progress in scientific, ethical and interdisciplinary terms. We hope that we have helped to take another step forward in accessible media design.
The d-NOTAM project started on 01.12.2020. It is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure within the scope of the funding guideline Modernity Fund (“mFUND”).
The aim of the project is to develop software assistance using the available basic data of the aeronautical infrastructure in order to completely digitize the NOTAM process. The NOTAMs can be processed automatically and displayed in a pilot’s “navigation device” (Electronic Flight Bag – EFB). This reduces not only the risk of missing important NOTAMs, but also the pilot’s workload in flight planning to a considerable extent.