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04.17.07 Division Highlights

Traffic Complexity for Central East Pacific Flight Routing: In support of the Traffic Flow Management research being conducted under the NGATS Airspace Project, an in-depth investigation was performed to assess the potential impacts of adopting user-preferred routing in the Central East Pacific. To accomplish this study, the variation in four aggregate-level and four time-varying airspace complexity measures was investigated to characterize differences in aircraft density, conflict geometry, and the conformance of flight trajectories to the underlying sector geometry under both structured and un-structured routing. Though the individual measures were strongly influenced by the prevailing winds, the un-structured, user-preferred routes were not found to definitively increase the airspace complexity, and often adopting the un-structured routing decreased the complexity. The results of this study have been submitted for publication to the Air Traffic Control Quarterly Journal.

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Integration of SMS and GO-SAFE: Optimal Synthesis, Inc. has started a new effort this week to integrate OSI's GO-SAFE software and NASA's Surface Management System (SMS). The GO-SAFE software tool generates taxi routes and 4D clearances for aircraft on the surface. The GO-SAFE tool interfaces with the Airspace Target Generator which drives the aircraft simulation model to execute taxi clearances. SMS will use the taxi routes provided by GO-SAFE to perform both strategic and tactical functions to manage and control surface traffic. Results from simulations (e.g., taxi delays) will be analyzed and compared with baseline results.

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System Safety Analysis for ATM Automation and Operations: Safety is the most important consideration in the design and operation of NextGen ATM systems, but it has not been formally assessed in the design proposals to date. Building on the work of John Andrews (MIT-LL), this week we initiated an effort to apply formal system safety analysis principles and techniques to the problem of ATM modernization. The initial objective is to systematically identify risks to safe ATM operations in the NextGen system. Continuing work will look to quantify and mitigate these risks.

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NTX Operations: NASA successfully integrated SMS with the DFW Airport Operations Database (AODB). The connection to the AODB uses the same XML-based message protocol as other SMS-airline data feeds. In the near-term, AODB will provide scheduled flight gate times and gate assignments to improve the SMS schedule prediction accuracy. Eventually, SMS will provide improved flight times-of-arrival back to the AODB. Earlier work demonstrated the benefit of the airport gate information by scraping data from the public DFW Airport website. The dedicated AODB connection will allow further investigation of a much wider set of real-time airline flight information in a more robust and reliable manner.

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National Airspace System Sensitivity Study: Researchers internally presented ongoing work on how a decrease in capacity at one large airport affects departure and arrival delays at the 34 largest airports in the national air transportation system. The approach is to perform a set of simulations using the Airspace Concepts Evaluation System (ACES). First, a baseline simulation is executed. Then, 68 simulations are executed where in each simulation one of the 34 airport's arrival or departure rate is perturbed. The results of the perturbed simulations are compared against the baseline simulation. Results of this study will show how events that decrease the capacity of an airport propagate through the national air transportation system and identify which airports are large drivers of system delays.

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Augmented Reality Tower Tool: Plans are underway for collaboration with Dr. Steven Feiner, the Director of the Columbia University Computer Graphics Laboratory (a recognized expert in Augmented Reality technology) to begin work on new improvements to the Augmented Reality Tower Tool (ARTT) engineering prototypes. Dr. Feiner and Dr. Rana el Kaliouby will visit ARC in late April to prepare for the ARTT evaluations tentatively scheduled for late June. Dr. Feiner will focus on improving static and dynamic registration. Dr. Kaliouby will continue to adapt her affective state recognition system to evaluate workload and usability. Dr. Yaakov Amitai of Lumus Optical, LTD is developing advanced see-through light-guided optical element head-worn displays that will also be evaluated in June.

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Last Updated: November 7, 2018

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