Sound design for auditory guidance in aircraft cockpits

. Human Factors: Security and Safety (Soesterberg 2008), Volume 2008 von Human Factors and Ergonomics Society - Europe Chapter Annual Conference, Seite 113-121. Maastricht, Human Factors and Ergonomics Society - Europe Chapter, Shaker Publishing, (2009)


Auditory information from the situation around us, available in open nature is lost in vehicles. To maintain the three-dimensional picture and situational awareness, pilots in an aircraft cockpit need to interpret two-dimensional data provided on flat screens. The visual information prevails; the auditory channel is used mainly for alerting or getting attention. In an ongoing research project we evaluate means to provide information using audio signals. For these audio signals, carrying information about state, direction, and amount of deviation explicit sound design is essential. Even when using voice commands, where the information is put into the words chosen, parameters exist that can support or oppose to this semantic information, like pitch (low to relax, high to alert), personality (robotic for regular automatic updates, human for unexpected trustworthy information). The paper shows, how an existing flight instrument is mapped to an audio display and what principles from psychology and music are applied to sound design.

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