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HIGHLIGHTS ARCHIVE
07.31.07 Division Highlights

Contents
Atlantic Interoperability Initiative to Reduce Emissions: On July 26, a meeting was held in Seattle with the FAA and Boeing to initiate planning for the arrival component of a joint US/European venture known as the Atlantic Interoperability Initiative to Reduce Emissions (AIRE). This initiative, unveiled at the Paris Air Show by the FAA Administrator, is intended to demonstrate and deploy emerging NextGen technologies for reducing the environmental impact of gate-to-gate air-transport operations. In the arrival phase, Oceanic Tailored Arrivals (OTA) – supported by NASA's En Route Descent Advisor (EDA) - has been selected as the key enabling technology for AIRE. Beginning as early as 2008, aircraft equipped with Boeing's Future Air Navigation System, departing from Europe and arriving to the East coast of the US, will receive trajectory-based clearances via datalink to allow a continuous-descent approach from cruise flight to the runway. Once within radar controlled airspace, airplanes will receive refinements to their guidance trajectory based on EDA speed and path-stretching advisories designed to accommodate flow-rate and separation constraints. Based on airplane routing and equipage requirements, Miami has been identified as the best candidate destination for flights participating in the OTA component of AIRE.

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Continuing modifications to CTAS for Computation of Tailored Arrivals: Modifications to Ames's Center-TRACON Automation System (CTAS) software improved the En Route Descent Advisor's (EDA) trajectory predictions for San Francisco arrivals from the Pacific. EDA assists controllers in metering arrival aircraft from en route to terminal-area airspace. Specifically, EDA generates maneuver advisories to deliver aircraft very accurately to a fix located at the terminal boundary. EDA works in conjunction with the CTAS Traffic Management Advisor (TMA), which generates the precise schedules and sequences EDA targets for optimal throughput into the terminal area.

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Post-processing capability developed for a conflict resolution database: Several fast time simulations with 1x, 1.5x, and 2x traffic have been performed and require analysis. A capability was developed for rapid post-processing of data that can be used on the currently completed, as well as future, simulation runs, using Microsoft Excel. With this macro, simulation data can be automatically imported and prepared for further assessment in minutes. Initial analysis charts are automatically plotted and statistics computed (such as delay per type of resolution, delay per conflict, average number of resolution attempts) enabling quick and easy comparisons. Previously, the data reduction and preparation of summary information could take on the order of 1 day. This generic macro will aid in future simulation analysis investigating the performance of the conflict resolution algorithm for different airspace regions, helping to save significant time.

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Improved method for describing sector boundaries: A new method for modeling sector boundaries was developed and will now be implemented in the Airspace Concepts Evaluation System. The method describes sector boundaries with greater accuracy than the previous method, and it accepts data collected from the field without modification. A paper describing the method will be presented at the 2007 Modeling and Simulation Technologies Conference.

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Simulation of Command and Control for Remote Robotic Ground Operations: Use of FutureFlight Central for remote robotic ground operations was demonstrated for two days last week during the 2007 Haughton Crater Field Test in the Canadian Arctic. The main goal of the field test was to study the use of robots for site surveys as an analog to future lunar operations. FutureFlight Central was quickly configured to support five separate applications and their corresponding displays on its large 10' x 7.5' screens. Telemetry-driven and static applications included robot-mounted camera feeds, video conferencing with the base camp, a 3D model of the nearby terrain running the Ames-developed Viz software, a live return of one K10 rover's ground penetrating radar, a live return of another K10 rover's LIDAR, and a Google Earth map monitoring planned and actual rover trajectories. Ames Center Director, Pete Worden, conversed with demo attendees in FutureFlight Central. Future plans include configuring all of FutureFlight's 12 video channels to provide an immersive 3D view of the terrain.

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