Conference Control System

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Authors: Kenneth Allendoerfer, PhD.
Shantanu Pai

Pai, S., & Allendoerfer, K. Conference Control System computer-human interface prototype description and design rationale (DOT/FAA/CT-05/06). Atlantic City International Airport, NJ: Federal Aviation Administration William J. Hughes Technical Center.


The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Air Traffic Control System Command Center (ATCSCC) is responsible for the strategic aspects of the National Airspace System (NAS). The ATCSCC modifies traffic flow and rates when congestion, weather, equipment outages, runway closures, or other operational conditions affect the NAS. Controllers at the ATCSCC accomplish these tasks by communicating with NAS stakeholders like local FAA facilities, airlines, and other national civil aviation authorities. In 2004, the FAA deployed the Conference Control System (CCS) as part of infrastructure modernization to meet increased capacity demands. The CCS provides many new functions and a computer-human interface (CHI) based on touch-entry display (TED) technology. The NAS Human Factors Group conducted a user-centered design project to explore the CCS CHI requirements. In collaboration with the CCS User Team, we developed mouse- and TED-based CHI prototypes to demonstrate the potential CCS functionality. This report discusses the approach we took in designing the CCS prototype and the rationale for each of the important CHI elements. Many of the concepts developed in the prototype were implemented into the operational CCS. The report also discusses the role of iterative prototyping in increasing designers’ and users’ understanding of the tasks, requirements, and CHI development process. Future programs can use the design rationale to guide the creation of CHIs for new telecommunication systems. We believe that the design approach adopted in this project allowed for a better elicitation of the user requirements and helped educate the user team regarding human factors and usability issues.

Updated: May 04, 2012 11:21 AM