Evaluating controller use of advanced weather products

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None; publication of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society
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Authors: Ulf Ahlstrom, PhD.
Ferne Friedman-Berg, PhD.

Friedman-Berg, F., & Ahlstrom, U. (2005). Evaluating controller use of advanced weather products by evaluating user interaction patterns. In Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 49th Annual Meeting (pp. 30-34). Santa Monica, CA: Human Factors and Ergonomics Society.


We evaluated how Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) controllers interacted with advanced weather products when displayed on primary tactical radar displays or on auxiliary flat-panel displays. When we provide the controllers with access to appropriate weather tools, we potentially decrease workload and improve performance by increasing weather situational awareness (WSA). We assessed the benefit of providing weather information using Gantt charts to graphically depict user interaction patterns and by conducting an analysis of the frequency and duration of interactions with the weather tools. From these analyses, we identified two patterns of interacting with tools corresponding to heavy and light users. We correlated tool use with our measure of controller efficiency and found an increase in traffic throughput with increasing tool use. We also determined that the controllers were more likely to interact tactically with tools when placed on the Terminal Controller Workstation (TCW), turning them on when needed and turning them off when not needed. This method provides us with insight into how the controllers use the information on their displays to help provide them with tools to increase safety and efficiency.

Updated: May 04, 2012 11:21 AM