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04.10.07 Division Highlights

Meeting with Dr. Paul Bevilaqua to Discuss Wake Vortex Research Needs: Doug Isaacson and Vern Rossow met with Dr. Paul Bevilaqua to discuss wake vortex research needs pertaining to NextGen terminal air traffic operations. Dr. Bevilaqua was selected to sit on a NRC to assess NASA's wake vortex research, and Dr. John Zuk requested the meeting with Dr. Bevilaqua to discuss air traffic needs for wake research. Dr. Bevilaqua was briefed on Ames' research into very closely spaced parallel runway operations and the system-level requirements for pursuing the different options to increase terminal capacity in the NextGen system. Dr. Bevilaqua extended an invitation to meet with the full NRC at a future date in Washington, D.C.

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ACES Development Review and Technical Exchange: The Airspace Concept Evaluation System (ACES) development contracted project manager visited Ames Research Center on April 3rd and 4th. Together with NASA's contract monitor, they interviewed researchers using ACES to evaluate the results that the current version of ACES is producing. The researchers pointed out several issues with the results that were hindering their studies. Following that exchange, key people involved with the software development and maintenance were briefed on the issues. A plan of action was formed and implemented to resolve the issues. It is expected that they will be resolved in the next two weeks.

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Exploring Roles in Very Closely Spaced Parallel Runway (VSCPR) Approaches: The Terminal Area Capacity Enhancing Concept (TACEC) was partially implemented in the Ames Advanced Cockpit Flight Simulator (ACFS) to obtain pilot feedback on information requirements, changes in roles and responsibilities, and definition of procedures. A three day study was conducted in the ACFS with three different pilots March 27-29, 2007. The pilots utilized displays of traffic and wake information on an enhanced navigation display and primary flight display and flew simultaneous approaches into a generic airport with parallel runways 750 feet apart, with no center line or diagonal runways. Two aircraft were flown in the scenario: a simulated leader aircraft, and a follower aircraft represented by the ACFS. Wind, visibility and spacing conditions were varied in the experiment and preliminary feedback from the pilots indicate better acceptance of the procedures under clear visibility versus Category IIIB conditions, as well as preference for larger spacing between the lead and follower aircraft (10 seconds versus 5 seconds). Useful data and feedback were obtained on displays, information flow and breakout procedures. The data will be analyzed and reported in the next few weeks.

Ruth Leverenz, Assistant Administrator for Region/Center Operations for the FAA, received a brief demonstration of the TACEC displays in the ACFS simulator on March 27. She had positive comments regarding the concept and tools and requested more data regarding ACFS work in this area.

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Arrival Management Operational Evaluation and Technology Transfer: A meeting was held April 3-4 to plan for a near-term operational evaluation of trajectory-based arrival management in congested airspace. This industry-led activity will couple 's predictive ground-based automation for developing conflict-free, time-based metering solutions with flight deck capabilities for managing 3-D arrival paths using Required Navigation Performance criteria. This activity, funded by the FAA with strong support from the JPDO, will begin with human-in-the-loop simulation experiments in 2008, followed by flight trials targeted for Houston airspace in 2009. A Space Act Agreement is currently being drafted between NASA and Boeing to support this collaborative effort. NASA's contribution will be limited to subject-matter consultation along with occasional access to Ames simulation facilities. In return, NASA will receive operational field data for algorithm validation, and the opportunity to realize early technology transfer to the FAA and industry.

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Crew-Vehicle System Research Facility - B747-400 End Around Taxiway Study #3 (EATS 3): During the week of March 26, 2007, Mark Reisweber, P.I. of the FAA Standards Office AFS-440 conducted the third installment of a study on pilot perceptions while conducting flight operations on end-around taxiways (EATs) using the Crew-Vehicle System Research Facility - B747-400. End-around taxiways are perimeter taxiways situated around the runway complex; their purpose is to avoid crossing traffic on active runways while maintaining expeditious traffic movement. Previous studies dealt with departures and identification of local ground traffic. This study dealt with pilot perception while flying over aircraft operating on the new taxiways.

The study consisted of commercial flight crews executing approaches to DFW runway 17C and 17R. The scenarios were a mixture of day/night scenes with varying visibilities and levels of ground traffic. Each crew was given a pre-brief on the experiment. After each approach and at the conclusion of all the runs, the crews filled out questionnaires and debriefed on their evaluations of the concept. In all, 10 crews evaluated 280 runs over the 5 days of the study. All simulator data collected was processed and delivered to the researcher. There is some discussion of a follow-on study, possibly looking at taxiing under airborne arrival aircraft.

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Last Updated: November 7, 2018

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