The Controller Assistance department at the DLR Institute of Flight Guidance has been working with international partners for over a decade to develop AI-based prototypes for automatic speech recognition and understanding of radiotelephony in all phases of flight. In many simulation studies with laboratory and real data, it has been demonstrated that the prototype systems can, for example, reduce the workload of controllers and increase situational awareness. The prototypes have now reached a level of technological maturity that makes it possible to transfer the technology directly to industry. This raises the question of safety when AI-supported software for recognising and understanding voice radio is used operationally.
It was precisely this aspect that DLR investigated together with European partners using the example of an approach controller workstation. The safety assessment carried out, which is based on two use cases and eight identified hazardous situations, makes it clear that no additional safety risks are to be expected at the controller’s workplace.
The paper “Ensuring Safety for Artificial-Intelligence-Based Automatic Speech Recognition in Air Traffic Control Environment” with authors from Integra, DLR and CRIDA (link) was selected from almost 70 papers for the cover of the Aerospace Journal (Issue 11 “November 2023” from Volume 10; link).
This news was as well announced at DLR’s homepage: https://www.dlr.de/fl/en/desktopdefault.aspx/tabid-9494/16349_read-88144/.