Standard Terminal Automation Replacement System (STARS)

Updated:10:59 AM May 03, 2012


Controllers and engineering research psychologists using the prototype STARS system.
 

STARS replaces outdated equipment in terminal radar approach control (TRACON) and tower facilities.  It provides controllers with critical operational information about aircraft positions, flight data, and weather.  It also provides many new capabilities that allow technical operations personnel to monitor and control system resources.

The Human Factors Branch has been involved with the design and evaluation of the STARS air traffic and Technical Operations computer-human interfaces (CHIs) since 1997.  Our involvement has included conducting structured usability assessments, developing new CHI designs using our rapid iterative prototyping process and tools, conducting CHI validations, building virtual facility models, and evaluating new technology for use in STARS upgrades.

Group personnel have served as members or advisors to the STARS Air Traffic (AT) and Airway Facilities (AF) CHI working groups from 1998 through 2002.  We contributed our expertise in CHI design, human factors standards and guidelines, human physical and cognitive abilities, and user-centered design best practices.  In general, the working groups made all decisions with regard to the STARS CHI.

STARS Prototype User Interface
STARS Prototype User Interface (click for larger image)
 

The STARS CHI efforts added considerable cost and delay to the program.  However, without the assessments, prototyping, and validations, STARS certainly would have been rejected by the field and possibly canceled.  Our contribution was to provide expertise, processes, and tools that helped the program office develop effective user interfaces and make informed decisions.  The original STARS CHIs were difficult to train, awkward to use, did not conform to human factors guidelines and standards, and, in some cases, could have led to critical mistakes by controllers or maintainers.  Instead, the system has been operational, in various forms, since 1999.  The virtual facility modeling allowed engineers to see and “tour” virtual control rooms.  This allowed facility personnel to identify issues with installation and maintenance before any equipment was installed.

Products

  • Allendoerfer, K. R. & Yuditsky, T. (2001). Further lessons learned in the design of computer-human interfaces for terminal air traffic control systems. Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting, 45, 195-199.
  • Mogford, R. H., Krois, P. A., & Allendoerfer, K. R. (1999). Human factors lessons learned in terminal air traffic control system procurement. Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting, 43, 1022-1025.
  • Mogford, R. H., Rosiles, A., Koros, A. S., & Held, J .E. (1997). Computer-human interface evaluation of the Standard Terminal Automation Replacement System Monitor and Control Workstation. Federal Aviation Administration, Atlantic City International Airport, NJ.
  • STARS Human Factors Team. (1997a). Standard Terminal Automation Replacement System human factors review, Volume I. Internal report, Federal Aviation Administration, Atlantic City International Airport, NJ.
  • STARS Human Factors Team. (1997b). Standard Terminal Automation Replacement System human factors review, Volume II. Internal report, Federal Aviation Administration, Atlantic City International Airport, NJ.
  • STARS Human Factors Team. (1998). Report of the computer-human interface re-evaluation of the Standard Terminal Automation Replacement System Monitor and Control Workstation. Federal Aviation Administration, Atlantic City International Airport, NJ.
  • STARS TDW Monitor Suitability Evaluation, 1998
  • STARS Air Traffic Control Tower Lighting Measurement Results, 1998
  • STARS EDC for ARTS IIIA CHI Validation, 1998
  • STARS EDC for ARTS IIIE CHI Validation, 2000
  • Full STARS Release 1 CHI Validation, 2000
  • Full STARS Release 2 CHI Validation, 2001
  • Full STARS Release 2+, CHI Validation, 2001
  • STARS Supplement Display Monitor Replacement Human Factors Assessment, 2002
  • STARS Tower Display Monitor Human Factors Assessment, 2002
  • STARS Computer-Human Interface (CHI) Prototypes [in collaboration with ACB-840], 1998-2003
  • STARS Virtual Facility Models for BOS and PHL TRACONs [in collaboration with ACB-840], 1998-2002

 

Updated: May 03, 2012 10:59 AM