ATC-lab: An air traffic control simulator for the laboratory

  • Shayne LoftEmail author
  • Andrew Hill
  • Andrew Neal
  • Michael Humphreys
  • Gillian Yeo


Air Traffic Control Laboratory Simulator (ATC-lab) is a new low- and medium-fidelity task environment that simulates air traffic control. ATC-lab allows the researcher to study human performance of tasks under tightly controlled experimental conditions in a dynamic, spatial environment. The researcher can create standardized air traffic scenarios by manipulating a wide variety of parameters. These include temporal and spatial variables. There are two main versions of ATC-lab. The medium-fidelity simulator provides a simplified version of en route air traffic control, requiring participants to visually search a screen and both recognize and resolve conflicts so that adequate separation is maintained between all aircraft. The low-fidelity simulator presents pairs of aircraft in isolation, controlling the participant’s focus of attention, which provides a more systematic measurement of conflict recognition and resolution performance. Preliminary studies have demonstrated that ATC-lab is a flexible tool for applied cognition research.


Flight Path Conflict Detection Option Menu Human Factor Research Script Developer 
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Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shayne Loft
    • 1
    Email author
  • Andrew Hill
    • 1
  • Andrew Neal
    • 1
  • Michael Humphreys
    • 1
  • Gillian Yeo
    • 1
  1. 1.School of PsychologyUniversity of QueenslandBrisbaneSt. LuciaAustralia

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