Airport Cooperative Research Program

About the Competition:

The Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP), a program of the National Academies Transportation Research Board, is sponsoring a national competition for universities that engages students in addressing issues relating to airports and the National Airspace System. The Competition builds upon the former FAA Design Competition for Universities which has now become an ACRP program funded by the FAA. The Competition is managed for the ACRP by the Virginia Space Grant Consortium of Hampton, Va.

FTI-CS Problem:

We chose to address a topic in the category Runway Safety/ Runway Incursions/ Runway Excursions Challenges and sub topic Expanding the situational awareness of pilots and ground operators on the airfield. We narrowed the scope of situational awareness by specifically addressing Mobile tools for pilots that aid in situational awareness.

FTI-CS Solution:

Our solution focuses on improving an already existing technology knows as the Electronic Flight Bag (EFB). Three primary goals we plan on modifying to the system include enhancing the moving map display, the mounting system, and the pilots comfort with the tablet. The moving map display is the software being used. We want to improve the accuracy of plane movement and positioning. The mounting system deals with the hardware, so that pilots can use the EFB without glare and clutter. The final goal is to standardize the pilot's choice of tablet brand to use with their EFB software. This will allow pilots to be more interactive and responsive with their EFB if they are comfortable using it. Below is a mockup of potential hardware solutions to the EFB mounting issues:

Figure 1: The figure above shows the components of our tablet mount. It consists of three main components- A removable adhesive mount which allows the pilot to securely place the tablet on any surface of their choice within the plane and move it as needed, An adjustable ball joint allowing for the tablet's vantage point to be changed to a position that the pilot finds to be most ideal, and finally a set of adjustable holds that can be resized through a sliding mechanism allowing the pilot to use a tablet of their choice while in transit instead of being forced to use tablets built for a single type of stand.