Future Cockpit Concepts

Foto von A340-300-01-GULF-AIR Maschine

Future Cockpit Concepts

The Institute of Flight Systems and Automatic Control (FSR) at TU Darmstadt has long-standing knowledge and experience in efficient flight operations and human factors on the flight deck. In the context of two projects, DiSCo (Digital Glider Cockpit) and Future Cockpit Concepts for commercial aviation project, FSR currently investigates new concepts and technologies for future flight decks together with its industry partners Butterfly, Garrecht Avionics, Schempp-Hirth and Jeppesen.

Integrated Digital Glider Cockpit

As part of the DiSCo project (Digital Gliding Cockpit), a glass cockpit for gliders is being developed at the FSR. The aim is to develop a fully integrated system which centrally displays all required information to fly the aircraft and is controlled by a uniform operating concept. Through the implementation of various assistance systems and an optimized display of the information, the safety and the performance of the pilot should be increased during gliding. At the FSR, the man-machine collaboration in the glider cockpit is examined, as well as the entire system is evaluated as part of a simulator study.

The DiSCo project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy as part of the Federal Aeronautical Research Programme LuFo V-2.

Future Cockpit Concepts

Central to our research are Reduced Crew Operations for commercial airline operations. Considering various challenges (i.e. pilot incapacitation, overly high workload, social loneliness during long flights) with current operations and flight deck designs, a revolutionary approach to flight deck and operations design is pursued. The pilot’s role will change significantly from being an aviator towards being a mission manager.

Currently, research focuses on the development and validation of four key aspects:

  • a human-centered concept of operations for Reduced Crew Operations with a focus on socio-technical challenges (contact: Stefan Neis),
  • new, adapted information management on the flight deck to support the pilot‘s role as a mission manager (contact: Sebastian Sprengart),
  • multi-modal interaction methods on the flight deck (contact: Millie Blackstun),
  • optimized flight management tools (contact: Jonas Schulze).

As part of the project, a Reduced Crew Operations simulation environment is being developed and built, serving as an evaluation and demonstration platform for research on future cockpit concepts and reduced crew operations.