Enhanced flight vision systems: Portrayal of runway markings and sensor range effects on pilot performance
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This thesis investigates the effects of two specific sensor limitations in enhanced flight vision systems (EFVS) on general aviation pilot performance during approach and landing: sensor range and EFVS portrayal of runway markings. The background section of this thesis describes current sensor technologies with EFVS: millimeter wave radar, forward-looking infrared, and light detection and ranging (LiDAR). In addition, the connections between pilot tasks, information requirements, visual cues and information processing level are identified. These connections show how limitations of sensor technologies could affect pilot performance. These effects were then assessed in a fixed base flight simulator of a general aviation aircraft with an EFVS system. The sensor range and portrayal of runway markings was varied while measuring pilot performance. Pilot performance during approach was measured according to FAA instrument certification standards. Landing performance was measured using standards taught during private pilot training. The results show that pilot performance in tracking an instrument approach is negatively affected by reductions in EFVS sensor range, while the vertical speed and distance from centerline had exceedances beyond acceptable standards when the EFVS did not portray runway markings. These results identify the key minimum specifications of EFVS sensor range and ability to portray runway markings for their implementation in general aviation.