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May 21, 2013

ACROSS Research Project to Reduce Air Crashes

By Hannah Bond, TMCnet Contributing Writer

When people think about the major risk factors for an airplane crash, chances are the first things that come to mind are low visibility conditions or the pilot being too tired to fly. However, it turns out that two significant factors in crashes are high levels of stress on the pilot and depleted crew levels. Advanced Cockpit for Reduction of Stress and Workload (ACROSS) is a research project funded by the EU devoted to reducing errors in aviation by helping pilots manage their workload.

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Among the many companies partnering to help conduct this research is TriaGnoSys, which specializes in enabling communications to and from aircraft. TriaGnoSys is known for being a provider of the wireless capabilities in planes that lets passengers access entertainment on their trips. According to a report from BlueSky (News - Alert), TriaGnoSys will lead the portion of research focused on air-to-ground communication.

The solutions developed by ACROSS will be analyzed by industry experts and by actual pilots in order to get a feel for how feasible they actually are. Solutions for improving the safety of aviation have been developed before, but not with a specific focus on the pilot’s stress levels.

These other solutions include implementing a text-based protocol for communication between the flight deck and cockpit, which reduces errors related to miscommunication, and a system that alerts pilots when there are objects in their path that they might not be able to see, with messages to the pilot becoming more urgent the closer the pilot gets to the object.

In the words of the Managing Director of TriaGnoSys, Dr. Markus Werner, “This research will benefit the long-term safety of aviation by reducing the stress faced by pilots during regular operations and in critical exceptional situations, such as the partial or full crew incapacitation.”

Edited by Rachel Ramsey