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Proceedings Paper

Simulation evaluation of synthetic vision as an enabling technology for equivalent visual operations
Author(s): Lynda J. Kramer; Steven P. Williams; Randall E. Bailey
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Paper Abstract

Enhanced Vision (EV) and synthetic vision (SV) systems may serve as enabling technologies to meet the challenges of the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) Equivalent Visual Operations (EVO) concept - that is, the ability to achieve or even improve on the safety of Visual Flight Rules (VFR) operations, maintain the operational tempos of VFR, and even, perhaps, retain VFR procedures independent of actual weather and visibility conditions. One significant challenge lies in the definition of required equipage on the aircraft and on the airport to enable the EVO concept objective. A piloted simulation experiment was conducted to evaluate the effects of the presence or absence of Synthetic Vision, the location of this information during an instrument approach (i.e., on a Head-Up or Head-Down Primary Flight Display), and the type of airport lighting information on landing minima. The quantitative data from this experiment were analyzed to begin the definition of performance-based criteria for all-weather approach and landing operations. Objective results from the present study showed that better approach performance was attainable with the head-up display (HUD) compared to the head-down display (HDD). A slight performance improvement in HDD performance was shown when SV was added, as the pilots descended below 200 ft to a 100 ft decision altitude, but this performance was not tested for statistical significance (nor was it expected to be statistically significant). The touchdown data showed that regardless of the display concept flown (SV HUD, Baseline HUD, SV HDD, Baseline HDD) a majority of the runs were within the performance-based defined approach and landing criteria in all the visibility levels, approach lighting systems, and decision altitudes tested. For this visual flight maneuver, RVR appeared to be the most significant influence in touchdown performance. The approach lighting system clearly impacted the pilot's ability to descend to 100 ft height above touchdown based on existing Federal Aviation Regulation (FAR) 91.175 using a 200 ft decision height, but did not appear to influence touchdown performance or approach path maintenance.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 April 2008
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 6957, Enhanced and Synthetic Vision 2008, 69570K (15 April 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.772775
Show Author Affiliations
Lynda J. Kramer, NASA Langley Research Ctr. (United States)
Steven P. Williams, NASA Langley Research Ctr. (United States)
Randall E. Bailey, NASA Langley Research Ctr. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6957:
Enhanced and Synthetic Vision 2008
Jeff J. Güell; Maarten Uijt de Haag, Editor(s)

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