Human-Centered Design of a 3D-Augmented Strategic Weather Management System for the Aviation Community
Boulnois, Sébastien Léonce Paul
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Convective weather is one of the main causes of accidents in the National Airspace System according to the Federal Aviation Administration. The purpose of this research, aligned with current NextGen research efforts, was to determine how weather information, presented in 2D and/or 3D, and associated with interaction features, could impact airline pilots’ weather-related situation awareness and decision-making capabilities. Human-Centered Design principles, along with Design Thinking, were used and led to the design of a 3D-Augmented Strategic Weather Management System aiming to satisfy this research question. The system is called “Onboard Weather Situation Awareness System” (OWSAS) in the scope of this research. This dissertation describes the design cycles that were carried out over three years, including several knowledge elicitation, participatory design and evaluation sessions. The overall results were encouraging. The current OWSAS version is still at an early stage of design; further human-in-the-loop simulations and evaluations should be conducted to consolidate the system usability and monitor the evolution of pilots’ weather situation awareness and decision-making capabilities. Furthermore, the rich and meaningful feedback and feedforward gathered from expert pilots were consolidated in a knowledge base obtained through a grounded theory study for current and future research.