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07.17.07 Division Highlights

Advancing Toward Automated Separation Assurance: In a fast-time simulation of 24 hours in the Nation's busiest en-route airspace, an automated conflict resolution algorithm designed and developed by NASA researchers was successful in resolving 99.9% of traffic conflicts (3143/3145) detected two-to-eight minutes prior to loss-of-separation. Resolution trajectories required only gentle maneuvers (standard-rate turns, modest climb/descent rates, or speed changes of 15 knots or less) and returned every aircraft to its original flight trajectory. Whereas earlier results did not consider conflicts between aircraft on approach to the same arrival fix, the new results do. Arrival-fix conflicts are thought to be the most difficult type of conflict to resolve, because the available resolution maneuvers are constrained to cross a common point (the arrival fix) at a common altitude, while preserving the arrival sequence. Measured under a traffic demand level 50% heavier than today, the current results suggest that automated conflict resolution is becoming more viable as a technology alternative to human responsibility for inner-loop air traffic control.

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Airport Surface to Node/Link Method Developed: A method for converting geometric models of airport surfaces to node/link network models was developed. Network models are used by several applications to simulate surface operations. Geometric surface data for 80 airports were collected, and the method was used to create node/link network models for each of the airports. In comparison, the Surface Management System currently models three airports: Dallas, Memphis, and Louisville. Future work will focus on creating a database where these models can be stored, accessed, and updated and developing tools to write the data in formats that can be read by a host of airport simulation programs.

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Conclusion of Augmented Reality Tower Tool Study: Researchers from Ames, Columbia University, and MIT are concluding a study of the latest Augmented Reality Tower Tool, at Moffett Field Tower. Data from both live Northern California TRACON and ADS-B are used to determine aircraft position. Several display technologies are being evaluated. Dr. Rana el Kaliouby (MIT Media Laboratory) will attempt to quantify workload and internal cognitive state of both the on-duty controller and the off-duty 'shadow-controller' via machine-vision interpretation of facial expressions.

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IEEE Special Issue on Aviation Information: The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) has approved a Special Issue of the IEEE Proceedings on Aviation Information with Professor Per Enge, Professor Jason Rife and Professor Claire Tomlin as Guest Editors. This special issue will focus on current research efforts that promote continued growth in the aviation industry by enabling both increased traffic density and safe UAV operations. Information technologies required to achieve these goals include high-integrity navigation systems, flexible interfaces, and verifiably safe control strategies that automate aspects of air traffic management. Dr. Banavar Sridhar has been invited to contribute an article in the area of Air Traffic Flow Modeling and Control. The manuscripts for the proceedings are due by October, 2007 and the expected publication date is September, 2008.

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FAA Technical Center Collaboration to Meet Information Technology Security Requirements: Personnel from the FAA Technical Center worked with staff at NASA Ames to complete the new datafeed architecture that will be used to provide FAA Center Host data to Ames. Host data for all 20 Centers will be provided through this streamlined system that adheres to FAA data security requirements. During this visit, FAA and Ames personnel from three separate directorates collaborated to set up two identical systems in separate facilities to provide Ames the ability to better address information technology security requirements for receipt of these data. The FAA successfully connected both systems to the FAA Technical Center and began plans for completing the inter-Agency ATC systems data server.

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NASA Ames and FAA Technical Center linked: The Virtual Airspace Simulation Technology (VAST) team and the FAA's William J. Hughes Technical Center completed a test of their simulation connection using AviationSimNet, which is a distributed real-time communication protocol designed for air traffic management simulations. The VAST team developed a bridge that connected, via the internet, the VAST simulation environment to the AviationSimNet one. The test included generating targets at Ames and the Technical Center and passed them over the internet so that they could be viewed at both sites.

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Air Force Surgeon General Briefed on Advanced Visual Systems: On July 12, Lieutenant General (Dr.) James G. Roudebush Surgeon General of the Air Force, Major General (Dr.) Thomas J. Loftus, Assistant Surgeon General for Health Care Operations, Brigadier Gen. Theresa M. Casey, Assistant Surgeon for Modernization, Colonel (Dr.) Margaret "Peggy" Matarese visited Ames for a briefing on the progress of an eye limiting visual system being developed by the Ames Simulation and Human Factors organizations. The purpose of the visit was to provide senior Air Force leadership with an understanding and appreciation for the science and engineering behind the Operational Based Vision Assessment (OBVA) effort. The goal of OBVA is to provide the Air Force with more accurate criteria and understanding of vision requirements based on actual operational tasks. The Surgeon General said he was impressed and that we can expect his strong support.

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Last Updated: November 7, 2018

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