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A System Plan for Air Traffic Control Embodying the Cursor-Coordinated Display

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2 Author(s)
Arnold, W.O. ; Bell Telephone Labs., Whippany, N.J. ; Hoefle, R.R.

This paper describes a system plan for utilizing radar as a primary source of position information for the control of air traffic. Through the specific arrangements suggested, this information is integrated with certain additional flight control data so as to present the controller with a co-ordinated picture of the air traffic situation in his area. The composite picture for each control area or sector is presented by means of 2 two-dimensional displays which have one dimension in common and are co-ordinated through the use of a movable cursor. The resulting presentation is known as the Cursor-Coordinated Display. An air traffic control system performs three fundamental functions that are common to all control systems; namely, information processing, decision making, and effecting. Of these, only the decision-making function requires human intelligence. The efficiency of a manual air traffic control system is directly related to the proportionate amount of time the controller can devote to this paramount function of decision making. It is, therefore, a fundamental requirement that the system gather, process, and display the necessary information in the manner most useful to the controller in decision making. The Cursor-Coordinated Display accomplishes this through the application of certain fundamental human engineering and industrial design principles. The general plans and requirements of a system for controlling air traffic, together with its associated displays and equipments, are presented.

Published in:

Aeronautical and Navigational Electronics, IRE Transactions on  (Volume:ANE-2 ,  Issue: 2 )

Date of Publication:

June 1955

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