92nd American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting (January 22-26, 2012)

Wednesday, 25 January 2012: 12:00 AM
Weather Technology in the Cockpit (WTIC) Transoceanic Human Over the Loop Demonstration
Room 335/336 (New Orleans Convention Center )
Tenny A. Lindholm, NCAR, Boulder, CO; and C. J. Kessinger and G. E. Blackburn

Prior to 2006, the FAA Aviation Weather Research Program (AWRP) sponsored the Oceanic Weather Product Development Team (OW PDT) that developed early aviation weather products specifically designed to meet the needs of transoceanic aircraft. The OW PDT collaborated with United Airlines to successfully demonstrate the usefulness of an uplinked, satellite-based product that identified the 30kft and 40kft convective cloud top heights on a two-hour look-ahead display that integrated the aircraft position and flight direction. An ASCII character display was sent to the Boeing 777 aircraft onboard ACARS line printer when a significant amount of deep convection existed along the flight route. Similarly, the AWRP Turbulence PDT has demonstrated the uplink of a look-ahead turbulence severity product into the cockpit of selected CONUS United Airlines flights. The recent Air France Flight 447 accident has focused attention to the need for additional, aircraft-specific weather information in the cockpit, particularly for transoceanic flights. First, and foremost, the science of weather hazard diagnosis and forecasting in the absence of remotely-sensed data needs to advance before further in-flight evaluations are attempted. Second, there are important human factors issues associated with presenting and using rapidly processed and updated information in-flight that need to be better understood. And finally, the uplink of weather information to aircraft in-flight offers perhaps the only way to validate and verify the utility of advanced weather information to enhance pilot and controller decision-making. Prior to further uplink of actual weather to en route aircraft, and to support development of a Concept of Use for uplinked oceanic weather, a focused ground demonstration of this capability using line airline pilots was planned. The integration of “canned” weather information into pilots' decision processes in the ground simulator environment will be done using the FAA Next Generation Integration and Evaluation Capability (NIEC) Research Cockpit Simulator (RCS) at the William J. Hughes Technical Center (WJHTC) Atlantic City, NJ. Evaluation objectives to be addresse include pilot decision making with reference to enhanced convective and turbulence weather updates while enroute; suitability of various display concepts for electronic flight bag (EFB) design; information traceability to pilot and controller decisions made; ATC impacts; safety and data communications impacts; and enhanced collaborative decision making. This paper will describe the evaluation and report preliminary results as they are available.

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