Date of Award

Fall 12-18-1993

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Aeronautical Science


Graduate Studies

Committee Chair

Daniel J. Garland

Committee Member

Gerald D. Gibb

Committee Member

Marvin L. Smith


The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of automated and passive control on air traffic controller dynamic memory. The study consisted of two experiments, each involving a realistic ATC scenario for radar approach control with a mix of arriving and departing traffic. In Experiment I, the subjects performed manual control of the traffic while, in Experiment II, the scenario was highly automated and the subjects were tasked with only monitoring the situation. The dynamic memory performance was measured by interrupting the scenario and having the subjects recall the traffic situation at the moment of simulation interruption. The accuracy of recall was compared between the manual and automated scenarios. It was anticipated that subjects exercising manual control would have superior recall ability and a "picture." This would have significant implications on the design of automated systems for ATC and the role of the human controller within the ATC system.