Picture of Workload in 4D Trajectory Airspaces
MSc Assignments

Workload in 4D Trajectory Airspaces

Lead Researcher:Dr ir Clark Borst

The project

In this thesis assignment you will develop a complexity metric for 4D trajectory environments by adopting a 4D solution-space method. In previous research, many different complexity metrics have been developed based upon tactical control environments. An example of such a metric is the Dynamic Density developed by NASA. An alternative metric is the Solution-Space metric under development by the TU Delft. Despite their positive correlations with workload, these metrics are a representation of the current, tactical control environment. In the future airspace, a strategic (4D trajectory) environment will exist, potentially making current complexity models less powerful in predicting workload. We therefore need a more strategic metric to map the complexity of 4D traffic environments and analyse how those relate to workload.

Your efforts

In this project you will develop a complexity metric for 4D traffic environments based upon the existing Travel Space Representation interface developed in previous research. This effort involves developing a calculation method to analyze the 4D solution space that is bounded by aircraft performance, traffic, and weather constraints. If time permits, a human-in-the-loop experiment needs to be conducted in the ATMLab to analyze the correlation of the developed metric to controller workload.


For this project, programming in Java (using OpenGL) is needed. Therefore, the student should have a high interest in learning to program. Of course it helps if the student already has some basic programming skills and experience. Note that the programming involves extending our existing tools and thus doesn’t involve creating everything from scratch!

Project outline

The first 3 months cover a preliminary graduation (Literature Study (AE4020), combined with the course Research Methodologies (AE4010)). During this phase you will perform a literature survey and “sketch” the prototype metric. The preliminary phase will be finalized with a presentation and report. In the remaining 6 months you will further develop, implement and evaluate your ideas as part of final thesis phase (AE5310).