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Speech Recognition Interfaces Improve Flight Safety
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Abstract: "Alpha, Golf, November, Echo, Zulu." "Sierra, Alpha, Golf, Echo, Sierra." "Lima, Hotel, Yankee." It looks like some strange word game, but the combinations of words above actually communicate the first three points of a flight plan from Albany, New York to Florence, South Carolina. Spoken by air traffic controllers and pilots, the aviation industry s standard International Civil Aviation Organization phonetic alphabet uses words to represent letters. The first letter of each word in the series is combined to spell waypoints, or reference points, used in flight navigation. The first waypoint above is AGNEZ (alpha for A, golf for G, etc.). The second is SAGES, and the third is LHY. For pilots of general aviation aircraft, the traditional method of entering the letters of each waypoint into a GPS device is a time-consuming process. For each of the 16 waypoints required for the complete flight plan from Albany to Florence, the pilot uses a knob to scroll through each letter of the alphabet. It takes approximately 5 minutes of the pilot s focused attention to complete this particular plan. Entering such a long flight plan into a GPS can pose a safety hazard because it can take the pilot s attention from other critical tasks like scanning gauges or avoiding other aircraft. For more than five decades, NASA has supported research and development in aviation safety, including through its Vehicle Systems Safety Technology (VSST) program, which works to advance safer and more capable flight decks (cockpits) in aircraft. Randy Bailey, a lead aerospace engineer in the VSST program at Langley Research Center, says the technology in cockpits is directly related to flight safety. For example, "GPS navigation systems are wonderful as far as improving a pilot s ability to navigate, but if you can find ways to reduce the draw of the pilot s attention into the cockpit while using the GPS, it could potentially improve safety," he says.
Publication Date: Feb 01, 2013
Document ID:
20130009026
(Acquired Feb 06, 2013)
Subject Category: MAN/SYSTEM TECHNOLOGY AND LIFE SUPPORT
Document Type: Technical Report
Publication Information: Spinoff 2012; 56-57; (NASA/NP-2012-11-912-HQ); (SEE 20130009003)
Financial Sponsor: NASA Langley Research Center; Hampton, VA, United States
Organization Source: VoiceFlight Systems, LLC; Troy, NY, United States
Description: 2p; In English; Original contains color illustrations
Distribution Limits: Unclassified; Publicly available; Unlimited
Rights: No Copyright
NASA Terms: AIRCRAFT SAFETY; FLIGHT PLANS; FLIGHT SAFETY; GLOBAL POSITIONING SYSTEM; PHONETICS; SAFETY DEVICES; SPEECH; SPEECH RECOGNITION
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