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VERIFICATION AND VALIDATION LABORATORY
CTAS as a research platform is continuously being improved. NASA and the FAA have installed prototype CTAS tools in several stages at air traffic control facilities serving the Dallas/Fort Worth airports. To support the use of CTAS at these field sites and confirm the functionality of the research software, NASA has developed a software release process to introduce new and improved CTAS functionality. As new CTAS functionality is developed in the Air Traffic Management Automation Laboratory (ATMAL), it is periodically captured and “downloaded” into the V&V Laboratory.

Photo of Ames researchers using the V&V lab.
Testing CTAS in the V&V lab Demonstration area of the V&V lab.

Software in the ATMAL and V&V Lab are tightly controlled through a software configuration management system that tracks all changes made to the CTAS software. The software is then run through a series of tests to validate the functionality of the software and to ensure that the software is capable of operating over extended periods of time. Once the “download” software has successfully passed all V&V tests, NASA produces a CTAS software release and distributes the software, along with installation notes and user documentation.

Photograph of a computer running a V&V test.

The V&V Laboratory is a facility dedicated to supporting the CTAS software release process. At the heart of the V&V Lab is a large multi-user computational environment consisting of approximately 45 UNIX workstations. As was the case with the ATMAL, the V&V Lab computational resources are reconfigurable to provide the user with the flexibility to create a simple or complex computational environment, depending on his/her requirements.

The V&V computational environment can be set up to replicate the configuration used at either of the two FAA field sites. All data sources used by CTAS, including track data, flight plan data, and weather data, are available within the V&V Lab. This allows V&V personnel to test and evaluate CTAS under the same conditions it would operate under at Centers such as Dallas/Fort Worth.

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Last Updated: October 13, 2016

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