Human Factors for Loran-C Receivers

Human Factors for Loran-C Receivers

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    Loran-C is an inexpensive, compact, and functionally powerful area navigation system. The application of this system to aeronautical navigation is an exciting occurrence for general aviation pilots. In the cockpit these systems simplify and increase the safety and precision of flight navigation by providing real time information on distance, bearing, and ground speed to pilot selectable navaids, airports, and air route intersec tions throughout the United States. Extensive data bases in these systems provide this information to pilots in response to a series of key presses and knob turns. Currently few receivers are certified for IFR flight, and none are currently certified for sole means of navigation under instrument flight rules. Used under VFR conditions or as backup systems to other navigation systems, the design of the display, control and logic of these systems is not as critical to flight safety as might otherwise be the case. When intended for use under the potentially unforgiving and often high workload conditions presented by instrument meteorological conditions, good human factors design is critical to safe operations. This paper identifies current and potential human factors issues that are important in the design and operation of Loran-C receivers. The issues covered include display and control formatting, prompting for programming and function selection, error detection and correction, selection of emergency functions, warnings and alerts, cockpit location, and compatibility with air traffic control.
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