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05.08.07 Division Highlights

Animations for Air and Space Museum: The Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum is opening a new exhibit called 'America by Air' in the Fall of 2007. As a part of this exhibit, four computer animations have been created depicting air traffic in the National Airspace System (NAS). The four animations are a typical day of air traffic in the NAS, the traffic scenario on September 11, 2001, worst weather delay day of 2005 showing convective weather and air traffic, and a three-dimensional view of traffic highlighting twelve airspace users. Using NASA's Future Air traffic management Concepts Evaluation Tool (FACET) software, these animations have been iterated with respect to resolution, format, symbology and legend before the final version is created for display on a Sony 65-inch LCD screen at the National Air and Space Museum. The display will be open to the public in the Fall of 2007.

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Technical Interchange on TFM Flow Restriction Data: Traffic Flow Management (TFM) researchers visited the NASA North Texas research facility last week to meet with NTX researchers and to further plan the evaluation process for analyzing data to investigate regional and national TFM restrictions and their impact on demand. Researchers presented their research objectives to FAA TMU personnel and shared analysis of a particular severe weather day at DFW airport which resulted in an airport shutdown. The data analysis provided a depiction of the collective impact of the TFM restrictions imposed that day upon overall demand. The FAA personnel contributed additional background data on the local, regional, and national traffic management initiatives imposed. The interchange with the FAA TMU personnel provided insights into the types of information currently lacking in the TMU that are needed to help make more efficient TFM decisions in the face of severe weather (or other TFM) restrictions. Additional meetings and interchanges are planned to continue this investigation.

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AFRL Collaboration Meeting: Jason Moore and Timothy Lebo of the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) visited Ames Research Center on Friday, May 4, 2007. The AFRL is working with NASA under the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for JView Visualization Support for Next-Generation Air Transportation System (NGATS). JView is a Java-based graphics library that the AFRL develops for a wide variety of visualization purposes. The purpose of this visit was to discuss work currently being conducted under the MOA and to explore potential future areas of collaboration. The Airspace Operations Modeling Branch demonstrated visualizations of airport layouts and weather data, which led to discussions on how such visualization tools could be improved under the ongoing JView collaboration. Dave McNally of the Automation Concepts Research Branch demonstrated visualizations used in aircraft separation assurance research. The Aerospace Simulation Operations Branch respectively gave tours of the Vertical Motion Simulator and of Future Flight Central. Several possible areas of collaboration were discussed, the most notable being the sharing of data. Some of the data types discussed for this purpose were 3-dimensional aircraft and building models, 3-dimensional terrain data, and satellite imagery.

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Augmented Reality Tower Tool: Dr. Rana el Kaliouby, of MIT Media Laboratory Affective Computing Group, performed a six-way analysis with her facial expression recognition system of a NASA test pilot (veteran astronaut Bo Bobko) in the CVSRF B747-400 flight simulation. The initial results support the feasibility of using this system to objectively quantify workload. Facial video of a Moffett ATC Tower controller has been sent to Dr. Kaliouby in preparation for the Augmented Reality Tower Tool studies, currently scheduled for the last two weeks in June.

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