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09.25.07 Division Highlights

Presented paper at the 7th AIAA Aviation Technology, Integration and Operations Conference titled "An Approach to Verify a Model for Translating Convective Weather Information to Air Traffic Management Impact": This paper presents a method to verify the accuracy of a version of the Convective Weather Avoidance Model (CWAM) developed by MIT Lincoln Laboratory with support from NASA Ames Research Center. CWAM translates convective weather information to ATM impact by identifying convective regions of airspace pilots are likely to deviate around as well as regions they may fly through. This model will help minimize lost capacity due to convection by providing more accurate regions where re-route is required. Developing routing algorithms using the CWAM is an important issue; equally important is verifying its accuracy. NASA Ames, in collaboration with MIT Lincoln Laboratory, is verifying the CWAM and the results of this preliminary verification study were presented at this conference. The results showed general agreement with CWAM predictions verifying storm intensity and height have some explanatory value for estimating pilot deviation. Improvements to this work include addressing the correlation and cross-correlation of more features such as lighting conditions (day and night), size of CWAM polygon, Center, aircraft type and equipage, PIREPS, flight deck information, aircraft company, and exclusive passenger or cargo flights to deviations.

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Mixed Integer Programming Formulation for Taxi Scheduling: Taxi delays on the surface of the airport contribute significantly to total aircraft delays. In relation to this, we have developed a mixed integer programming formulation for a taxi-scheduling problem with an objective of minimizing the total taxi delays. The formulation is very general and can be used for any taxi layout. The formulation adapts the previously known integer programming formulation of Smeltink, et al. and uses fewer variables than the same. Also, necessary and additional collision avoidance constraints are formulated to ensure that the positions of any two aircraft are separated by a minimum distance at any time instant. This work is planned to be presented at the upcoming surface management workshop in October.

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Simulation Investigating Crew Procedures for Trajectory Negotiation: The data collection for a simulation study, representing a joint effort between the NGATS ATM-Airspace Project and the Intelligent Integrated Flight Deck Project, was completed on September 21st. The goal of this simulation was to examine the use of current flight deck technology and procedures when handling trajectory negotiation clearances. The crew procedures involved receiving, reviewing, and responding to trajectory clearances via data link communications. A total of five Boeing 747-400-qualified crews participated in a serious of short flight segments with trajectory-based clearances. Initial data indicate that the existing crew procedures for handling clearances via data link communications are largely compatible with the necessary procedures for handling trajectory-based clearances. Data also suggest that the data link message composition may need to be modified to allow for more clarity in reviewing some clearances elements, particularly altitude clearances instructions. These data will be used to determine guidelines for trajectory negotiation crew procedures for a future experiment in the Spring of 2008.

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Briefings to JPDO's System Modeling and Analysis Division: The JPDO Director of the System Modeling and Analysis Division (SMAD), Yuri Gawdiak, and his team were given an update on the status and future development plans for the Airspace Concept Evaluation System (ACES) on September 20, 2007. Larry Meyn gave a presentation outlining new ACES features and capabilities developed since ACES 4.0 and then briefed the team on several new development efforts. These included two integration efforts, ACES with the Future ATM Concepts Evaluation Tool (FACET) for traffic flow management studies and ACES with the Air Man-machine Design and Analysis System (Air MIDAS) for human workload analysis. The SMAD team was also briefed on three new development efforts for terminal area modeling within ACES, the Surface Traffic Limitations Enhancement, the Automated Terminal Area Node-link Generator and the Terminal Area and Airport Surface Editor. New ACES Viewer development, the ACES Report Generator, the ACES Weather Scenario Tool, and ACES Toolbox Enhancements were also covered. Finally the team was given brief demonstrations of ACES running with the Constrained Area Rerouting Tool and of the new ACES Viewer depicting a 4-dimensional visualization of an aircraft conflict resolution.

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Interim Technical Meeting on the Operational Based Vision Assessment (OBVA) Program: SimLabs and Code TH (Human Factors) hosted a two-day meeting with Physicians and researchers at US Air Force Research Laboratories in Mesa, AZ on September 18 and 19. The OBVA program is directed at bridging the gap between clinical vision testing and functional vision requirements for safe flight operations. USAF personnel provided background information and emphasized the importance of the issue to safe flight operations and pilot selection/retention. SimLabs and Code TH reported on progress towards sourcing and procurement of a very high-resolution visual system required for the prototype eye-limiting-resolution visual system validation demonstrator being developed at SimLabs. The validation demonstration is scheduled for July 2008.

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