Measuring Air Traffic Control Situational Awareness – Analysis of An Experiment Evaluating TUAV Radar Support Options in the Kabul Area of Operations


  1. Steele, J.A.
  2. Roy, R.L.
  3. Kalantzis, E.
  4. Denford, J.S.
Corporate Authors
Operational Research Div, Ottawa ONT (CAN) Land Combat Development OR Team
Current airspace restrictions in Kabul limit the potential capability of the Tactical Unmanned Air Vehicle (TUAV) within the area of operations of the Kabul Multinational Brigade. A Limited Objective Experiment was conducted using the OneSAF Testbed Baseline for virtual simulation to examine the impact of five different radar options and three different information displays on the level of airspace situational awareness (SA) of the air traffic control officer (ATCO). Techniques used included the Situation Awareness Global Assessment Technique (SAGAT), Situational Awareness Rating Technique (SART), and the NASA Task Load Index (NASA-TLX) techniques. The results showed that the employment of any of the examined radars in support of air traffic control operations significantly improved ATCO Level 1 SA. Only the MPN-25 radar option showed statistically significant improvements in Level 2 and Level 3 ATCO SA. The MPN-25 SART situational understanding (SU) scores and NASA-TLX workload scores were significantly better than all other radar support options. It appeared that the decrease in workload associated with the provision of an SA aid (display) allowed the ATCO to better leverage his SA into SU. Based on these findings, and considering the limitations of the simulation, the MPN-25 provided the best radar support option, but any of the radars examined in this experiment would assist in the establishment of positive control over TUAV operations in the controlled airspace over Kabu

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ADATS;ADSI;Air Traffic Control;Army Experimentation Centre;Kabul Area of Operations;Kabul International Airport;Kabul Multinational Brigade;KAIA;Mann-Whitney U Test;MPN-25 Radar;NASA TLX;Quad Radar;Radar Support;SAGAT;SART;Simulation;Situational Awareness;Situational Understanding;Skyguard;Synthetic Environment;TUAV;UAV
Report Number
DRDC-ORD-LCDORT-TR-2005-04 — Technical Report
Date of publication
01 Jan 2005
Number of Pages

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