Usability of EFBs for viewing NOTAMs and AIS/MET data link messages
A flight simulation environment was enhanced to facilitate experiments that evaluate research prototypes of advanced onboard weather radar, hazard / integrity monitoring (HIM), and integrated alerting and notification (IAN) concepts in adverse weather conditions. The simulation environment uses weather data representing actual conditions in an airport terminal area. A simulated atmospheric environment was realized using numerical weather data sets produced from the High-Resolution Rapid Refresh (HRRR) model hosted and run by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). To align with the planned flight simulation experiment requirements, several HRRR data sets were acquired courtesy of NOAA. These data sets coincided with severe weather events at the Memphis International Airport (MEM) in Memphis, TN. In addition, representative flight tracks for approaches and departures at MEM were generated and used to develop and test simulations of (1) what onboard sensors such as the weather radar would observe; (2) what data links of weather information would provide; and (3) what atmospheric conditions the aircraft would experience (e.g. turbulence, winds, and icing). Results from the use of the enhanced flight simulation environment during the piloted experiments will be presented. A weather radar display was utilized by the test subject pilots in both weather and turbulence modes. The radar capabilities and the pilot controls simulated current-generation commercial weather radar systems. Data linked weather advisories were also provided to the pilots consistent with Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) concepts of use for Aeronautical Information Service (AIS) and Meteorological (MET) data link products. Additional results of the simulation experiments included verification that the weather environment supports investigations of new flight deck information systems, flight deck integration of weather information, and pilot interfaces.