A Product Development Decision Model For cockpit Weather Information Systems
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Communication systems have an important role to play in managing the safe and efficient operation of the National Airspace System (NAS). The users of the NAS, from the commercial transport aircraft to hobby airplanes can all benefit from the recent advances in digital communication technology especially as the capacity of the analog voice systems is surpassed by the growth in air traffic. One of the benefits of the new digital data links being developed is to allow delivery of real time weather information to the cockpit of aircrafts. Weather information is essential to flight operations and until recently there were only limited voice and text weather reports available to the pilot. With data links, graphical weather in the cockpit is possible and also highly desired by the aviation community. This thesis will develop a decision model and analysis tool for product developers of weather information systems that need to select appropriate data link technology for which to develop their weather information systems. A comparative analysis of the aeronautical communications systems is done with the view of satisfying end-user requirements for weather information and achieving market success. A study of the various data links is conducted to gain an understanding of their performance characteristics and implementation issues. A consumer survey was designed and valuable insight into the requirements and opinions of pilots was gained. The method of Quality Function Deployment (QFD) was employed to find the most important technical characteristics of the data links to satisfy the consumer requirements captured in the survey. The decision model consisting of the QFD and also further technical assessment was implemented in software to allow any scenario of product requirements and data link to be performed.
- Masters Theses