Date of Award

Spring 6-1998

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Aeronautical Science


Aeronautical Science

Committee Chair

Gerald D. Gibb

Committee Member

John A. Wise

Committee Member

Daniel J. Garland


The objective of this thesis was to evaluate and determine the operational impacts to the Oceanic Air Traffic Controller (controller) from deficiencies of an Oceanic Data Link system. These deficiencies in the Oceanic Data Link system are in regards to the Computer Human Interface (CHI) and its effect on the cognitive effort and physical task requirements imposed on the controller. The various workload methodologies and techniques were reviewed for specific workload techniques applicable to the operational environment when resources, such as time and funding, are lacking for a laboratory design. Data was collected from a live oceanic control facility where the Oceanic Data Link system is currently being utilized at a single sector on the control room floor. Qualitative measures were used to assess controller workload associated with performing Air Traffic Control (ATC) tasks. The data collection activities utilized the analysis of data from the NASA-Task Load Index (TLX), observation, and questionnaires. Subjective workload analysis was used and collected from eleven oceanic controllers. Analysis of the NASA-TLX revealed that the use of the Oceanic Data Link system received the highest rating in mental demand and temporal demand followed closely by frustration and effort. The Oceanic Data Link system imposes higher workload in cognitive demand rather than physical demand, but does not affect their performance.

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Aviation Commons