Are the Intrusive Effects of SPAM Probes Present When Operators Differ by Skill Level and Training?
The Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) plans to implement a series of automated tools into the National Airspace System to aid air traffic controllers (ATCos) in managing a two to three times increase in air traffic density. However, introducing automated technologies into a system like air traffic management (ATM) changes the responsibilities of the ATCo from an active controller to a passive monitor, which can result in lower levels of situation awareness (SA). To measure SA objectively in such a dynamic task as ATM, the Situation Present Awareness Method (SPAM) is often used. SPAM provides the operator with SA probes while the operator is performing the task. Some studies have shown that the use of SPAM to measure SA is intrusive because it provides the operator with a secondary task. The present study examines whether these intrusive effects of SPAM are present when the operator has achieved a high skill level at the time of test, and whether training operators to rely more or less on NextGen automated tools influence their performance when SPAM queries are presented as a secondary task.
Keywordssituation awareness online probe methodology situation present assessment method
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